SPAIN is cracking down on the 90/180 day rule after denying entry to dozens of Brits at the Gibraltar border in a single day.
According to the Gibraltar Government, some 35 people were denied passage on Tuesday after being quizzed by Spanish border officials about their reasons for travelling. Further rejections at the border were reported on social media today.
Many were asked to show their flight and hotel bookings to prove they had plans to leave Spain after a certain number of days.
After the Brexit vote, Gibraltar residents became a so-called ‘third country’ in the eyes of Spanish (and EU) law.
It means that people from the Rock can only visit Spain for 90 days in every 180 days, just like Brits in the UK.
However due to the territory’s close social and economic relationship with Spain, some exceptions were made.
Gibraltarian citizens, for example, are eligible for a Red ID card, which means they can enter Spain without having their passport stamped and without being quizzed on why they are entering.
This measure will remain in place until a new treaty is thrashed out between Gib and Spain.
However EU nationals and British residents in Gib are given Blue and magenta ID cards respectively, meaning they must show their passport at the border to be stamped, as well as be prepared to give a reason for travelling.
The Gibraltar Government said in a statement: “Yesterday, 14th November 2023, around 35 persons were refused entry into Spain from Gibraltar.
“Most were British nationals and holders of Gibraltar Civilian Registration Cards (blue / magenta ID cards).
“The Borders and Coastguard Agency (BCA) are also aware that a British national (Gibraltarian) was refused entry to Spain for failing to produce a Gibraltar red ID.
“Additionally, a Ukrainian national who is a resident in Gibraltar was also refused entry into Spain.
“Most were asked for the reason of their visit to Spain and for flights or hotel bookings.
“The BCA are not aware of any British national who presented their passport and a Gibraltar red ID card, to have been asked to provide reasons for travel.
“The Government understands that the existing status quo has not changed and that Gibraltar red ID card holders will not be required to stamp their passports when crossing the border to travel within Spain.”