Brits outraged after being turned away on arrival at Spanish airport & sent back to Manchester after Brexit mixup
DOZENS of Brits were refused entry at a Spanish airport yesterday and sent back to the UK amid new Brexit rules.
Border guards at Alicante-Elche airport erected a sign in the terminal saying "NO TIE CARD, NO ENTRY" before refusing entry to some 40 UK nationals.
The passengers, who arrived from Manchester, were sent back on the same Ryanair flight they arrived in.
Spain has been rolling out a new system to register permanent foreign residents with biometric documents called TIE cards.
For everyone else, there is a 90-day limit on staying within a six month period – and because March 31 is 90 days since the UK left the EU, today is the day the rules change.
Stuart Miller, an off-shore worker from the North West of England, called the border farce "absolutely diabolical."
He told Olive Press: "People with letters from Alicante Foreigners Office asking them to collect their residency cards were turned away – what more proof do you need of residency?"
Another passenger reportedly turned away was a woman who had travelled to see her sick father in hospital.
Stuart says armed police officers were at the terminal supporting the border agents.
And to add to the Brits' misery, their outgoing flight back to Manchester was delayed.
They were then told their hold luggage wouldn't reach the UK until April 2.
Stuart said: "There was no advice, no help and, to be fair, no good reason for us being turned back at Alicante."
Ryanair had assured passengers that their documents, including passports and Covid tests, was enough to gain entry to Spain.
Under Spain's travel rules, it is unclear whether documents such as letters confirming successful application of Tie Cards can be accepted.
However as today, non-residents who can demonstrate their journey is essential will be granted entry.
A spokesman for the British embassy in Madrid said: "When making plans to travel from the UK to Spain, a UK national must make sure they meet both the requirements to leave the UK and those to enter Spain, bearing in mind that they are not the same.
"Ultimately, the decision on whether to grant entry into Spain is made by Spanish border officials."
Around 300,000 British citizens are registered as permanent residents in Spain.
To be able to live in Spain now, you will need to show proof that you're earning, either through having a contract with a Spanish company, or by proving that you have at least £2,000 a month coming into your account.
For a family, it will be much more. You will need to show that you have an extra £500 a month for each member of the family.
For example, a family of four will need to prove they earn a yearly salary of at least £42,000.
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