'I went on holiday to Spain and one entry requirement at border control surprised me'

Photo shows passengers at Tenerife Airport
-Credit: (Image: BirminghamLive)


A holidaymaker has expressed her surprise at one check at Spanish border control after arriving on a flight from the UK. BirminghamLive Reporter Emily Chaplin said she encountered the unexpected check at the start of a girls holiday which departed from Birmingham Airport.

Emily said she was prepared for the change in the entry requirements for Brits entering Spain, post Brexit. According to the Foreign Office website, this includes border control officials asking passengers arriving from Britain to show a return or onward ticket, proof of travel insurance, a hotel booking confirmation and evidence that you have enough money for your stay - said to be £97 per day.

Read more: The latest Foreign Office travel advice for anyone heading to Spain, Greece, Turkey or the Canary Islands on holiday

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After describing the "last hurdle standing between me and an all inclusive hotel buffet with a cold glass of sangria", she wrote: "I was prepared for the first three [requirements] but the euros in my purse fell short, though holidaymakers who get asked for proof can show bank account statements instead. From what I'd read online, it was unlikely we would get asked anyway, so my fingers were crossed we'd pass through without any hold-ups.

"As we neared the front of the queue, I realised that another checkpoint stood between us and the stern-faced uniformed officer stamping passports from behind a desk. Another airport employee was calling passengers forwards to one of four self-service kiosks and was repeating the same instructions over and over - place your passports into the designated port, look into the camera and place a finger on the fingerprint scanner.

"Fingerprints? I knew the EU's new Entry/Exit System would soon introduce biometric scans for people flying to countries in the Schengen Area like Spain and Greece, but that isn't scheduled to launch until the autumn. Then I spotted the logo printed on the side of each kiosk - policia. They were police scanners, presumably checking passengers' details against Spain's criminal databases.

"It wasn't an issue, of course - we were tourists on a girls' holiday, not fugitives on the run - but it was unexpected. I wasn't sure why exactly, but it felt weird knowing my fingerprints would be kept on a system somewhere and I wondered how and where my data would be used."

According to one recent study by the Co-op, one in five UK adults quizzed admitted they would be 'put off' travelling to Europe under the new Entry/Exit System, while just under half of those said they didn't like the idea of their fingerprints and facial scan being captured, BirminghamLive reports.

Emily continued: "It certainly isn't enough to put me off going on holiday, but I could see why people found the idea uncomfortable. The scan took a few seconds and then we breezed through passport control with little more than an 'hola' - no mention of return tickets, insurance, booking confirmations or spending money. We were in our hotel, munching on paella and sipping fruity wine within the hour."

It's not the only change tourists from the UK will have to get accustomed to when travelling abroad. The new entry/exit system mentioned above is coming in this October, while tourists planning on going on holiday to destinations such as Spain, Italy, France and Portugal will soon need a new entry document to visit, which could take around 30 days to obtain.

The summer of 2023 is set to be the last holiday season before the new policy comes into effect. There is total of 30 countries where the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) will be used to grant entry to travellers.