Travelers from the UK arriving in Spain in the past few days have faced queues as long as 45 minutes.
That’s because UK citizens now need to wait in line for non-EU travelers to have their passports checked and stamped, TheSchengen.com reports.
Bearing in mind that winter holidays are just around the corner, and with more and more people wanting to visit popular Spanish destinations, such as the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands, travel agencies have called on Brits to prepare for longer lines over the coming weeks.
In order to help with the current situation, various tourist associations have asked the Spanish National Police to hire more staff so that the border control process can run more smoothly. However, no improvement has been observed so far.
Given that UK tourists make up about a quarter of international travelers arriving in Spain each year, it is believed that those who plan to visit the latter during the last two weeks of December may face longer queues.
As the UK is no longer part of the European Union, Britons who arrive in Spain are no longer allowed to enter without a passport.
In line with the new rules, travelers from the UK must undergo a border check and have their passports stamped. In this way, the authorities can check if anyone has overstayed their stay in Spanish territory.
Moreover, since the UK has left the EU, the British need to follow the same rules as nationals of other third countries. This means that UK citizens can only stay for 90 days within 180 days in Spain or any other country in the Schengen area.
Except for having to go through a border check, UK nationals are no longer allowed to enter Spanish territory if they do not have a valid vaccination certificate. Britons were previously allowed to enter Spain by submitting a PCR test result taken within 72 hours if they did not have a vaccination certificate. However, since December 1, all people who are unable to present a COVID-19 certificate have been denied entry.
Tighter entry rules against UK nationals will remain in place until December 31. However, it may be extended if the COVID-19 situation requires it.
>> Traveling to Spain during COVID-19: Here’s what you need to know
With the exception of Spain, Switzerland has also tightened entry rules for Britons. Swiss authorities announced last week that due to the spread of the new COVID-19 variant of Omicron, Britons will now have to follow mandatory quarantine requirements upon arrival in Switzerland.