The Spanish government has launched a new process for UK citizens who have still to register their residency in Spain to protect their rights under Britain’s Withdrawal Agreement with the EU.
From 6 July, instead of the green certificate or card that Britons living in Spain used to receive to prove residency, a new photo ID biometric card, known as a TIE (tarjeta de identidad de extranjero), will be handed out to those who meet the requirements. TIE cards will be given out instead of the green cards or certificates to fresh applicants, but those already with a green document do not need to do anything
The British Embassy in Madrid welcomed the introduction of the new system, but also stressed that the 360,000 Britons already registered in Spain do not need to change from the green certificate or credit-card sized card they already have.
The Embassy said this week, “We want to confirm again that there is no obligation for those people who already hold the green residency certificate (small card or A4 version) to exchange it for the TIE. Both documents will be valid in demonstrating your residency status and rights under the Withdrawal Agreement, even after the end of the transition period [31 December 2020].”
In a video message, UK Ambassador Hugh Elliott explained, “There is one group of people who must take action. If you live here, but don’t already have a green residency certificate [or green card], you must apply for the new TIE as soon as possible.”
Compulsory for new applicants
For new residency applicants, without the green documentation, a new step has been introduced.
Those applicants must now submit the paperwork proving their rights to residency to the provincial Immigration office (Oficina de Extranjería) in Malaga city for it to be checked and approved before then arranging a separate appointment at the nearest approved National Police station to get their TIE. Documentation can be submitted to the Immigration office in person, via a representative or via an online platform.
The process was still being rolled out this week by the Spanish authorities and British nationals trying to make appointments or find the online platform commented that it was still unclear where to look on the Spanish government’s websites.
The British Embassy held a video Question & Answer Session on Wednesday which is available to view on its Brits in Spain Facebook page.
The Embassy added that updates on the new process will be published on the UK Government’s Living in Spain information page, and users can sign up to receive email alerts as it is updated.
Summer is definitely here with the temperatures set to rise from today to 32 degrees with a slight breeze – perfect for a walk on the beach, dip in the sea and lunch at a chiringuito. Waking up in the morning and enjoying an early round of golf enjoying the fresh air and scenic countryside are just the antidotes to a hectic life and a definite change to some of the weather the UK has been experiencing.
Perhaps this a great time to head inland too for a meander around one of the charming pueblos or whitewashed villages. Try Mijas, Frigliana or Casares. Up here the temperatures may be a little cooler and not forgetting the hidden delights of Marbella Old Town. Sitting here dining in the cool and watching people pass by is one of the fine pleasures of a long lunch.
The property market here in Spain and particularly the Costa del Sol is hotting up too. We have virtual and physical appointments available to view properties available for sale. Some of our exclusive developments are offering some great deals now including €15,000 gift packs which can go towards buying costs or furniture packs at Aqualina. The Oceana Collection boasts fantastic €10,000 gift which can be redeemed towards either furniture packs or buying costs or alterations.
With ferries and planes now restarted have you booked your trip to Spain yet? Whether that is to explore the areas you’d love to buy in or whether you’d like to find your dream home here in Spain we have some excellent propositions for you.
Summer time is upon on us and this year probably will not be as busy as previous years due to what is happening in the world, so it is the perfect time to come over and join us in the search for your dream property.
Talk to one of our multilingual team about some of the great offers available right now.
Contrary to some news reports about small areas of Spain being on a second lockdown, here in Andalusia we are very much open for business. Andalusia has been welcoming visitors from around the globe for decades and as such has created some of the highest levels of precautions to protect residents and visitors so that when you arrive here you can enjoy all the things you are used to.
If you are a beach lover you will be glad to hear the beaches are ready to welcome you. There are no cordoned off areas and masks are only required to be worn inside buildings and in outdoor pathways less than 2 metres wide. Andalusia have a team of trained security officers to ensure the safety of tourists and hand gel is provided in most shops, bars, restaurants and even on the beaches. Hygiene measures have been ramped up, again to ensure the safety of tourists and residents.
The coast is getting busier day by day and everyone is following the high standard of the Spanish people and respecting the protective measures, of which none are considered inconvenient. There is excellent organisation by the authorities and the Costa del Sol or Andalucian region has not been put into a second lockdown which could have been misinterpreted. Catalonia has placed several areas on a less strict lockdown meaning they cannot leave their area, however this does not affect entry into Malaga airport and the beaches here on the coast are already filling up with its summer guests.
Those of you who choose to travel to Spain this summer will find the new normal an easy and secure way with little inconvenience on any level. All restaurants, bars, beach clubs are open and prepared for the season. The staff all wear masks for our protection but you are not required to and the tables apply the required distancing.
I have been the proud owner of Bromley Estates for 10 years and lived in Spain for 30 years and I am honoured to live in a country where people happily follow the measures set out to protect them. I have 3 children, two of which are still very young, they are now back enjoying the beautiful parks and beaches and I feel secure that the government and open venues are taking sanitary measures very seriously.
If you would like more information on how life is on the Costa del Sol at the moment, one of our property specialists will be happy to speak with you.
We have some fantastic properties for sale boasting exceptional price tags and in some of the new developments there are extras added to the package sale including furniture allowance up to the value of €20,000 in one of our Exclusive Developments.
It’s the perfect time to buy your second home or retirement property here on the Costa del Sol. We have already helped many of you make your dream of owning a property on the Costa del Sol come true, so contact one of our team today and we will get your property search started.
Today the British government has announced its plans to get the tourism industry moving allowing people to travel again. England will form air bridges with a number of countries including Spain that will allow people to travel and holiday abroad this summer.
The air bridge announcement does not apply to the whole of the UK though as Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have not signed up to the scheme at this time.
Here in Spain the ‘new normal’ is in full swing with people now arriving and enquiring about property. Going to restaurants and bars as well as the beach is possible here meaning your holiday will be a good one.
Life is mainly outdoors when you are in Spain so social distancing is the norm with masks only worn when this is not possible. Loving life is important to the Spanish and whether you are getting out on the golf course or mountain biking, out on the open water or dining by the Med, you will get that in bucket loads on your stay here.
The Institute for Spanish Tourism Quality have released 12 guides so far on how to prevent the spread of the virus and protect tourists and locals. People must now remain 1.5 metres apart and from what we are seeing everyday this is happening.
It is excellent news to see the air bridges opening up travel again, so if the lockdown has had you scouring the internet for a new home in Spain we can help you find it. If you are searching for property with great outside space we can help you pick the perfect residence for your budget and lifestyle.
Overlooking the sea or a golf course, or perhaps a finca in the countryside. We have a wide range of properties in the most highly desirable resorts on the Costa del Sol.
With the current lockdown looking to be going well within Spain and other European destinations the announcement of borders re opening as soon as June/July will make many people very happy.
The European Commission considers the Europe to be in ‘Phase 0’ right now – with borders between member States still shut, but the countries in question are starting to apply mechanisms to gradually open up restrictions on movement.
‘Phase 1’ in Europe will see a ‘partial’ lifting of border controls and restrictions, and if this cannot be across the board and immediate, an easing off could start between ‘region, areas or member States’ whose ‘situation and evolution’ in terms of virus control are similar.
As yet, the respective situations in each member State, or parts thereof, are not clear enough to be able to work out a possible strategy, but it is expected this will be on the cards soon.
Where travel between two areas or countries whose contagion situation is different – one being farther ahead and nearer recovery than another – ‘extra steps’ will be taken when crossing borders, including ‘additional vigilance and control’.
Authorisation by the different member nations to travel to given areas must be in an ‘informed and coordinated manner’, based on ‘three criteria’ and cannot be ‘discriminatory’, the Commission warns – meaning permission to travel must be for all territories which comply with the criteria and for all citizens, with no ‘cherry-picking’ between them.
As an example, if Spain, Portugal and France were all in similar situations concerning the Covid-19 pandemic, Spain could not allow its residents to travel to Portugal but not France, and could not permit travel to ‘Spanish nationals only’.
Also, says the Commission, no country will be permitted to open borders with neighbouring countries but not with anywhere else in the EU – the criteria to follow will be based upon the ‘epidemiological situation’ in given member States, not the distance between them. So, for example, if Portugal, France and Germany were in a similar position to Spain, then Spain would not be allowed to permit travel to Portugal and France but not Germany.
This is excellent news for those with property here that want to come and spend the summer here.
‘Phase 1’ in Europe would mean ‘prioritising’ cross-border movements in ‘key areas of the economy’, says the Commission – which may well include international tourism, in the case of Spain and other Mediterranean nations where the holiday industry forms a major chunk of their income.
The Commission says it is ‘very concerned’ that the pandemic may affect the common market, ‘just as it’s recovering now from the financial crisis of 2008’, and for this reason wants any restrictions on international travel within the bloc to be ‘proportionate, effective, and not to go beyond what is necessary to contain the pandemic and protect public health’.
Countries whose Covid-19 situation is ‘improving’ will be among the first to open up to each other, but they will also be required to have ‘mechanisms in place’ for containing the pandemic, both at the border and beyond, including restrictions in areas where social distancing is not possible.
One of these mechanisms, the Commission says, could be that a tourist automatically receives an SMS on their mobile phone when crossing a border giving them information about national and regional restrictions, and who to contact if they experience Covid-19 symptoms.
‘Phase 2’ in Europe, which will be the equivalent of Spain’s ‘Phase 3’, will come with a general internal border opening and will happen once the ‘epidemiological situation’ in all EU member States is ‘sufficiently positive and comparable’, but precautions will still apply, including hand-sanitiser dispensers, information campaigns, social distancing and, in countries where it is compulsory, masks being worn.
Several airlines have announced their plans to reinstate flights albeit fewer of them in June which is good news. Brussels recommends all member States ‘limit contact’ between passengers and between employees in the transport industry, largely by ‘reducing numbers’ on board and making mask use compulsory.
The Commission recommends tickets be available online at all times and this method encouraged where possible, so as to avoid touching more than necessary and limiting person-to-person contact. Additionally, physical distancing should be maintained at security, baggage re-claim and check-in.
“Fewer passengers should be allowed on board,” the Commission says, “to enable physical distancing, particularly between passengers who are not part of the same household.
Hotels, apartments and other accommodation
Parts of Spain whose tourism is largely based upon holiday homes, either owner-occupied or rented, are expecting to be able to open to visitors much sooner than those which rely mostly on hotels – holiday homes, even when used by multiple sets of guests over the course of a summer, have fewer, or no, communal areas, and self-catering trips reduce the necessity for people having to eat in restaurants.
The European Commission wants all accommodation to have ‘health and hygiene procedures’ in place, and tourism will only be opened up in places where hotels, holiday parks, resorts and other types of living quarters are near to a health service which has ‘sufficient capacity’ to treat not only locals, but also tourists on top of locals.
In some coastal areas in Spain, the population doubles or even quadruples in summer, and health service reinforcements for the season must be able to cope with this influx more than ever before – in addition to the usual heightened hospital and GP surgery traffic, they need to be able to handle a hypothetical Covid-19 outbreak among tourists and residents alike, and have the resources available for testing and for tracing anyone who may have been in contact with a person diagnosed.
“These regulations are to allow people to stay in hotels, holiday parks, B&Bs and other accommodation, eat and drink in restaurants, bars and cafés, and go to the beach, safely,” the Commission says.
All of this is progress for Spain and nearby countries and gets us closer to being as back to normal as can be hoped as soon as possible. Bromley Estates Marbella are fully operational whilst observing a safe environment for our customers and staff at all times. We are contactable via email and phone and very much look forward to welcoming you soon!
It has been a long lockdown period but during Phase Zero which started on Monday 4th May there were several types of business that were allowed to be open complying with health and safety regulations for public health.
Many of the businesses that took advantage of the easing of restrictions were hairdressing salons, whose services are in great demand after weeks of confinement whilst complying with regulations.
These regulations include wearing personal protective equipment, providing hand sanitiser and ensuring a distance of two metres between customers as well as disinfecting measures.
Other professionals who have been able to start offering their services by appointment are physiotherapists, dentists, opticians and beauticians. Here at Bromley Estates developments will be open and viewings are strictly by appointment only.
Activity has also resumed in some restaurants and bars this week. Phase Zero allows them to prepare meals to take away, if customers have ordered in advance by phone or internet. Lockdown is set to ease in other countries too and we are yet to see how travel will be affected between countries.
Many people will be missing breaks to their holiday homes or indeed to fly in and search for a property. Keeping people safe is always the highest priority and if you are looking for a property on the Costa del Sol we are still working so can help you with the search.
Meanwhile as exercising in the fresh air became allowed this week, many of the promenades that are usually brimming with people at this time of the year were filling up with most observing the social distancing rules and the timing rules requested by government. There is a reminder below of who should be out and when.
Time slots for physical exercise
- 6-10am and 8-11pm. Adults and teenagers 14 and over can go for a walk. A maximum of two people together if they are from the same household. One walk per day. Limited to 1km radius from home.
- 6-10am and 8-11pm. Adults and teenagers 14 and over can practise individual sports, once a day and must stay within municipal boundaries.
- 10am-12pm and 7-8pm. The over-70s and dependent citizens with carers can go out for a walk. Once a day and within a 1km radius of the home.
- 12-7pm. A parent can go out with up to three children for one hour a day within a 1km radius from the home.