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Spain extends ban on British holidaymakers, but don’t cancel your package

Spain announced yesterday that it won’t allow Britons into the country until after 19 January due to rising cases of a new strain of coronavirus in the UK.

British holidaymakers are also banned from the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands.

Only Britons who are legally resident in Spain are allowed into the country. They must carry their residence document (the green paper EU residence certificate or the new TIE) as well as a valid passport when flying to  Spain.

Until 10 January inclusive, Spanish authorities have confirmed that a valid “resguardo de solicitud o renovación de tarjeta de extranjero” document will be accepted as evidence for those UK nationals who do not have a TIE card but have started their Spanish residency process.

Additionally, all British travellers (except children under the age of 6), must present a negative Covid test taken within no more than 72 hours prior to arrival.

They must fill out an online Health Control Form 48 hours prior to travel, providing the Spanish Ministry of Health with:

  • contact information
  • details of any known history of exposure to COVID-19, and
  • confirmation that you are able to provide evidence (electronically or hardcopy) that you have undertaken a PCR, TMA or LAMP test taken no more than 72 hours prior to arrival and have tested negative for COVID-19.

You can do this on the Spain Travel Health website or downloadable app. On completion, you will be issued a personal and non-transferable QR code which you must show (electronically or hardcopy) at airport health controls on arrival.

You will also have to undego a temperature check at the airport and a visual health assessment.


I’m due to travel before 19 January, should I cancel?

If you have booked a package holiday, don’t cancel it now or you risk losing your money. Wait for the tour operator to cancel, after which you’ll be entitled to a full refund or an alternative holiday.

Jet2holidays has already cancelled all departures to Gran Canaria, Lanzarote and Tenerife up to and including 22 January, and up to and including 31 January for departures from Stansted.

It has cancelled all departures to Fuerteventure from England up to an including 9 February, from Scotland up to and including 19 February, and from Northern Ireland up to and including 12 February.

TUI has cancelled all departures up to and including 19 January. It says customers with cancelled holidays are being contacted by departure date order and offered the option to amend with a booking incentive, receive an ATOL-protected refund credit note with an incentive or cancel their booking and receive a full cash refund.


What if I’ve booked a flight-only?

If you’ve booked a flight-only and the flight goes ahead the airline might not offer you a refund if you don’t turn up. Instead, most are giving customers the chance to change to an alternative flight or a voucher to re-book at a later date, so you need to contact your airline or travel agent to see what they can offer you.

The Competition & Markets Authority are investigating whether airlines are within their rights to refuse refunds where passengers are prevented from travelling due to Government restrictions. If you’re refused a refund, it’s worth lodging a complaint with the CMA and see what happens.


Linsey McNeill

A journalist and travel writer of 35 years' standing, a once-a-week yogi, terrible skier and out-of-order mum to 2 teens. Previously Editor of, bylines also include The Telegraph, The Times, The Observer, the London Evening Standard, Which? and The South China Morning Post.

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