UK government seeks to reassure Brits about residency and travel

An empty Malaga Airport at the end of March.
An empty Malaga Airport at the end of March. / ÑITO SALAS
  • Britons trying to return to the UK are concerned about having to use public transport to travel to Madrid, Barcelona or Gibraltar to catch flights

The British Embassy in Madrid and the consulate in Malaga have released a series of informative videos on their Facebook pages, with the aim of answering some of the issues currently concerning Brits in Spain. They have offered advice to those trying to return to the UK during the current state of alarm or who are worried that an extended stay in the country could result in problems related to residency.

British Consul Charmaine Arbouin stressed that anybody who is in Spain for more than 90 days is not "violating freedom of movement" as the Brexit transition period has not ended and will not do so until 1 January 2021.

She added that it is currently not possible to register as a resident as all appointments have been cancelled during the emergency. Once the state of alarm is over she said that people should either register or leave Spain.


The British Ambassador to Spain Hugh Elliott updated Britons on travel between Spain and the UK and said that there were still "limited flights" from Madrid, Barcelona and Gibraltar, but that the UK government is not providing repatriation flights.

Many Britons who used a recent virtual drop-in session to find out about flights said they were concerned about making long journeys on public transport from other provinces, including Malaga, due to the risk of infection. Elliott reminded people that it is now obligatory to use face masks on all public transport.

Some used the drop-in session to express concerns about not being able to return to the UK to collect important medication in time before their prescriptions ran out, and others were worried about elderly relatives who have been caught up in the emergency and not able to travel alone.