There are reports coming in that Spanish authorities are refusing entry to British nationals trying to enter the country from Gibraltar.
Numerous British citizens were unable to enter Spain yesterday as authorities at the border with Gibraltar demanded to see hotel reservations and evidence of onward travel, such as a return ticket or train reservation. Those who were unable to do so were refused entry into Spain.
The development comes as Spanish authorities are stepping up controls on people from non-EU countries trying to enter the bloc via or from Gibraltar. The checks intensified earlier this week, various local media reported.
A number of travellers were also asked to show proof of funds for the duration of their stay in Spain, the Express newspaper reported, which wrote that not only Brits but also a range of other, non-EU nationals have been affected by the tighter border checks.
Gibraltar, a British overseas territory, has been caught between the EU and UK since Britain formally left the EU.
Access to Gibraltar was excluded in the trade deal that the UK and EU agreed in 2020. Therefore, there are no set or agreed arrangements for Gibraltar post-Brexit.
Gibraltar’s First Minister, Fabian Picardo, said his administration would discuss the matter with Spanish authorities, as well as the UK government.
“We are receiving reports of a change in approach to Non-Gibraltarian, third Country Nationals, crossing the frontier into Spain.”Gibraltar’s First Minister Fabian Picardo
“We will be taking up these issues with the UK and Spanish authorities,” Picardo said in a statement.
A British tourist who attempted to cross the border into Spain from Gibraltar told a local newspaper, Olive Press, that British travellers are pressed hard on proof of funds, to demonstrate they can pay for their stay in Spain or elsewhere in the EU.
“At the border, we had to prove we had €100 per day per person for the duration of our stay. The woman officer was apologetic but said she had to see enough for the ten days we planned to be in Spain either in cash or in a bank account,” she said.
€7 to enter EU
The development comes after City A.M. reported earlier that access to all Schengen EU countries will come at a cost from later this year.
A spokesperson for the European Commission in Brussels confirmed to this newspaper that all British travellers will have to pay a €7 visa fee.
The so-called European Travel and Information and Authorisation Scheme (ETIAS) enables citizens of 61 non-EU countries to visit the EU Schengen area with travel pre-authorisation, rather than a full visa.
The European Commission confirmed that, from late 2022, the UK will be part of ETIAS, meaning that Brits will have to pre-register their details before any trip, as well as pay the €7 levy.
Once the pre-authorisation has been approved, British passport holders will be allowed to stay in Europe up to 90 days.
The European Commission confirmed the payment and pre-registration will apply for any trips to all Schengen area states, plus the non-Schengen micro-states of Andorra and Monaco.
This means the ETIAS requirements will be in place for any trip to Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Lithuania, Latvia, San Marino, Estonia, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Italy, Greece, Czech Republic, Malta, Monaco, Liechtenstein, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland Vatican City.