Spain’s Secretary of State for the Ministry of Tourism and Industry, Fernando Valdés, wants to scrap the rule that limits British tourists, as well as tourists from other countries, from staying in Spain for only 90 days in any 180-days period, in a bid to further boost the tourism sector in this country.
In an interview for iNews, Secretary Valdés said that Spain would like to end the rule that permits non-EU travellers from visa-free countries to stay in the Schengen area for only 90 days within any six months, in order to enable travellers, including British holidaymakers, to stay in Spain indefinitely, when visiting for tourism purposes.
Yet, in order for such a thing to happen, the decision should be taken at Brussels-level, as Spain alone, cannot change anything in this regard, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
“Unfortunately, this is not something Spain has established by itself or can get rid of it. It is true that after Brexit some problems have emerged with people wanting to stay longer,” Secretary Valdés told iNews.
According to the news site, the existing rule is disadvantageous for Spain, for which the tourism industry accounts for 12 per cent of its GDP. As a result, the authorities of this country are already putting pressure on Brussels to change the rule.
“It is in our interest to lobby and convince [the EU] we can try to work an exception with them. But the solution must come from them,” Secretary Valdés also added.
Since the United Kingdom officially left the EU on December 31, 2020, UK nationals are subject to entry rules that apply to all third country citizens. Which means that amongst others British citizens should follow the rules listed below when travelling to any of the Schengen area countries:
- They must hold a passport that has been issued in the last ten years, which has at least one free page for border stamps.
- They can stay in the Schengen territory for a total of 90 days in any 180 days. Those staying longer, may face consequences for overstaying.
- British travellers may also have to wait longer at EU borders and they undergo different procedures from what they have been used to until the end of 2020.
- They cannot work in the EU without a work visa, even for short-term periods.
The post-Brexit rules for travelling to the EU have affected millions of British tourists, in particular those who own a second home in one of the EU countries, a large share of whom in Spain. These British citizens, before Brexit, used to spend a large share of the year in Spain, from the beginning of spring, until fall, which they can no longer do.
Source: Schengen Visa Info