The British embassy in Madrid has recently updated its coronavirus crisis travel information aimed at tourists from the UK still in Spain.
The information covers the situation regarding hotels, which have been ordered to close across Spain by next Thursday, as well as travel options for returning to the UK.
Here are the latest instructions issued by the embassy. The most recent video message from the British ambassador, Hugh Elliott, can be viewed here.
"The Spanish Government has ordered that hotels and short-stay accommodation must close by midnight on 26 March. These instructions do not apply to long-stay accommodation where people can cater for themselves. The local authorities may ask British travellers to move hotels, as guests are grouped into smaller numbers of hotels, but they have underlined that no-one will be left without accommodation. We advise British tourists in Spain who wish to return to the UK to make travel plans to do so as soon as possible," informs the embassy.
"Flights are still operating between Spain and the UK, albeit at reduced levels. If you need to book a new flight or bring your return journey forward you should check the airlines websites and flight comparison sites. You may need to be flexible about your destination airport in the UK. Airlines and ferry companies are experiencing a high volume of calls. Check their websites for the latest information. We are working closely with airlines to ensure that flights continue to operate and that British nationals can get home as soon as possible," continues the update.
Driving through France
"Spain is not restricting land border crossings from Spain to France. To drive back through France, the French authorities require that you fill in a declaration to explain your reason for travel, you should also have evidence of your onward travel plan (ie ferry/rail ticket). Please check our travel advice page for France for the latest information. If you do not have access to the printer, you can write the declaration by hand. https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/france," informs the embassy.
British Ambassador Hugh Elliott said:
“As part of the effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the Spanish Government has ordered the closure of all short-stay accommodation by Thursday 26 March. I want to reassure you that the Spanish authorities have told us very clearly that no one will be left without accommodation, however, it does make it even more important that you arrange your return journey as soon as possible. Flights are still operating from Spain to the UK and tens of thousands of British citizens have successfully returned to the UK in the past few days. Do consult your airline’s website for the latest information and if you need to book a new flight you can also try comparison websites. I know that in some places this is proving difficult. We are continuing to liaise with the airlines and Spanish authorities as the situation evolves. We will update our advice regularly. Thank you for your continued patience and understanding.”
As well as the video, a Q&A to address some of the most frequently asked questions can be found at www.facebook.com/britsinspain