This Morning: Martin Lewis discusses travel refunds and PCR tests
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According to two national travel agency associations, FETAVE and UNAV, queues of over 45 minutes at Spanish airports are “normal”. The chaos is worst at popular tourist destination airports.
The associations said complaints to the Spanish Government authority had fallen on “deaf ears”.
The queues are thought to be the result of an increase in non-EU passengers, a problem made worse since the UK left the EU.
Delays are particularly bad at airports with the highest number of non-Schengen passengers.
These include popular British destinations such as Alicante-Elche, Malaga- Costa del Sol and the airports in the Canaries and the Balearics.
Twitter user ‘ImaginaryCard’ tweeted: ‘We had to queue for 45 mins at Malaga airport because they only had three policemen at passport control during a ‘rush hour’ Friday night period. Hire more staff.”
Sudifoodie tweeted: “So thrilled to be back in Andalusia though it has been quite a journey with epic passport queues at Malaga airport.”
The tourist associations have called for an increase in National Police numbers to help tackle the border control queues.
UK tourists represent around 25 percent of all international passengers at Spanish airports and are likely to be impacted this Christmas.
The associations have warned the problem is likely to get worse in the run-up to Christmas, particularly in the Canaries.
Since the UK left the EU, British passengers need to have their passport stamped when they enter and leave Spain.
If Britons do not get their passport stamped on entry and exit they could be accused of overstaying in the Schengen zone.
Britons are allowed to be in the Schengen zone, which includes Spain and Portugal, for 90 out of every 180 days.
However, the chaos at Spanish airports is just one issue British holidaymakers are facing this winter.
Since December 1, unvaccinated Britons have been banned from entering Spain for any reason.
The rule also applies to children over the age of 12 which has impacted many British families’ plans.
Under Spanish rules, people are only counted as fully vaccinated if they have two doses of a two dose vaccine.
Many teenagers in the UK have not had the chance to receive two doses yet and are banned from Spain as a result.
Britons are advised to check the local restrictions in their holiday destination as rules on Covid passports and social gatherings can vary across Spain.
British holidaymakers also need to take a PCR test on or before day two after arrival in the UK.
They must self-isolate until they receive a negative result as the UK attempts to combat the Omicron variant.
The tests can add hundreds of pounds to a family holiday particularly if they opt to receive a speedy result.
British tourists are advised to check the UK Government website before travel as restrictions can change rapidly.
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