BRITS travelling from one UK airport are now being subject to “arbitrary rules made up on behalf of another country”, according to one Olive Press reader.
This comes only a week after scores of Brits were refused entry to Spain at Alicante Airport and sent back to the UK by ‘overzealous’ border staff.
Alec, a retired IT professional, spoke exclusively with The Olive Press, and described how he was turned away from boarding a Ryanair flight to Alicante at Manchester this morning, April 5.
He had specifically checked the gov.uk website only yesterday, to ensure that his buying a property was one of the “reasonable excuses” for travel to Spain. On the list of exemptions for travel is “to carry out activities related to buying, selling, letting or renting a residential property”.
He described how he and six others were turned away at the gate because they weren’t in possession of a TIE card, regardless of their otherwise ‘valid’ reason for travel.
“Ryanair staff had made the arbitrary decision to deny their passengers travel on behalf of the Spanish authorities,” said the 63-year-old.
He claimed that staff had “no intention” of engaging in any conversation and couldn’t back up or justify their own ruling with any evidence in print or online.
Others refused onboard the FR4007 included a woman with Italian citizenship who was travelling back to her family also living in Spain.
And a married couple, where the husband had the TIE card, but not his wife.
One passenger wryly observed, “Given that so many Brits are having to be flown back at the airline’s expense, I wonder if this was merely a cost-cutting exercise for Ryanair.”
The airline was unavailable for comment.
Last week Spain lifted an outright travel ban on those flying in from the UK for all but those Spanish citizens and those who could prove residency in Spain.
However, as UK nationals are now considered 3rd country nationals since Brexit they are not entitled to travel freely to Spain under current EU and Schengen-wide Covid rules and are only allowed to enter if they fall under general exemptions.
According to the Spanish government website these include being married to a Spanish national, having residency in the EU or Andorra and are travelling to their place of residence, long-term Spanish visa holders, health care professionals or transport workers travelling for work, students enrolled in courses in Spain or diplomats, military or members of international organisations that have work in Spain.
But according to the rules set out by Spain’s foreign ministry exceptions are also made for those “who are travelling for essential and justified family matters, force majeure cases necessary situations or humanitarian reasons”.
“It is crucial that when making plans to travel from the UK to Spain, a UK National must make sure that they meet both the requirements to leave the UK and those to enter Spain, bearing in mind that they are not the same,” said a statement from the Embassy in Madrid.
“Spanish rules set out that entry to Spain will currently only be granted to those passengers who can demonstrate that their journey falls under one of the allowed exemptions, as well as to those who are already legally resident in Spain.”
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