BRITISH expats have been refused access to bars and restaurants in Spain’s Balearic Islands despite showing a valid NHS COVID Pass.

One resident in Menorca said staff denied a British man entry to a restaurant after the Balearic government’s COVID app failed to validate the QR code of his NHS-issued COVID vaccination certificate.

The man, resident in Spain but with two AstraZeneca COVID jabs received in the UK, was then denied access to a café despite being fully vaccinated.

“My partner and I are sort of guinea pigs for the new laws as I had my Moderna jabs in Spain, but he got stuck in the UK and got two AstraZeneca jabs there,” Lori Ambler, 58, told the Olive Press.

“The Balearic Islands’ new app recognised my Spanish COVID Certificate, but couldn’t read my partner’s.

“We’re a bit frightened to go out anywhere for a meal now as we’ll get confronted by staff.

“It’s an awkward situation but most of all it’s not helping the restaurant industry, which has really suffered this year in Menorca.”

She said friends over for Christmas holidays were also not going out after being refused entry to restaurants and bars.

“When more tourists start coming in March it could create a big problem,” said Lori, who has been resident in Spain for over 30 years.

The former Londoner said staff were initially a ‘bit off’ but after she phoned to make a complaint the restaurant in the Binipreu commercial centre in Mahon – Menorca’s capital and biggest town – understood the problem was in ‘getting the government’s app working’.

A spokesperson for PIME Menorca told the Olive Press that restaurants, bars and cafes are ‘obliged’ to use the Balearic government’s COVID scanner in Menorca and may not download a separate app, such as the German Corona-Warn-App, which can read NHS COVID Passes.

“As a business association there’s nothing we can do, you will have to complain to the health department of the government of the Balearic Islands,” the spokesperson said.

The Balearic Islands’ app is actually a website which uses a mobile phone’s camera to scan a QR code.

The website states: “This application permits the verification of COVID certificates from the EU member states and also those issued in the United Kingdom in the same way as EU COVID Certificates.”

It comes as the Balearic Islands introduced sweeping COVID restrictions on December 29 mandating all bars, restaurants, cafes, cultural venues and events to request COVID vaccination certificates or similar for any customers or participants.

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