Wednesday, May 4th, 2022
After two somewhat quieter years due to the uncertainties of Covid, in 2022, Alicante Airport is once more expecting larger numbers of passengers this year. You might be amongst those looking forward to visiting the region over the coming weeks and months and maybe this will be the first proper holiday you have had in a while. To make sure that everything goes ahead as planned now is a good time to start preparing your travel documentation – you don’t want to get caught out by some formality you might have overlooked!
Despite the fact that Covid travel restrictions have been relaxed, most countries, including Spain, still have certain Covid entry requirements in place. Different rules apply, depending on whether you are an EU- or “third country”- national. To add to the confusion, the entry requirements tend to change on a fairly frequent basis. It is therefore advisable to check the rules prior to booking and to keep an eye on any potential changes in the run-up to your holiday. For more detailed information on this topic, we have provided a useful link at the bottom of this article.
While it is important to keep up-to-date with the latest Covid rules for travel, it is just as important not to forget about your other travel documentation. After all, you wouldn’t be the first to discover at the last minute that your passport, which has been gathering dust over the last two years, has actually expired and is no longer valid for travel!
One potential stumbling block for British holidaymakers is the fact that the passport and visa requirements for travel to Europe are no longer the same as they were prior to Covid. Different rules came into place with the end of the Brexit transition period on 31/12/2020. However, as far fewer Brits have travelled abroad during the last year, this has gone largely unnoticed, and many people still don’t seem to be aware of the changes.
In recent weeks, there have been numerous reports of individuals and families who had been looking forward to their Easter break with great excitement, only to be turned away at the airport at the last minute, as their passport was no longer meeting the criteria required for travel. To make matters worse, in this situation, the airline or tour operator is under no obligation to offer a refund or voucher. A nightmare scenario to be avoided at all cost!
So what are the new criteria for travelling to Spain with a British passport? Unfortunately, this does not always seem to be entirely clear. The official websites for the UK government and the EU advise the following: Your passport needs to be valid for at least 3 more months and be less than 10 years old on the day after you return to Great Britain.
It is important for your passport to fulfil both criteria and there are some potential pitfalls. If your passport was renewed early, some additional months may have been added to its expiry date. It may therefore still be valid for 3 months on the day after your return from Alicante, but may already be more than 10 years old from the date of issue, so this is worth checking!
Another thing to watch out for is the fact that some airlines and tour operators are not currently in line with the above rules. Instead, they may request a passport to be valid for 6 months or more at the time of travel. Therefore, please double-check your airline’s requirements and make sure your passport doesn’t fall short of these.
All of this might sound a little complicated but don’t be discouraged! It is mainly a matter of checking things in time so that you have the opportunity to rectify any potential problems with your travel documentation prior to your holiday. Once that’s been sorted, nothing should stand in the way of your well-deserved getaway!
For more information about the Covid documentation required for travel to Alicante, please also see our page “Covid-19 certificates for travelling to Alicante Airport“.