Spain is looking to abandon the 90-day limit for visitors from the UK, permitting them to remain in the country indefinitely.
As it stands, non-EU visitors are only allowed to visit countries in the Schengen area for a maximum of 90 days every 180 days. However, Spain is now looking to scrap this rule for UK holidaymakers.
According to Spain’s Tourism Secretary Fernando Valdés, the 90-day restriction goes against Spanish interests.
“Unfortunately, [the rule] is not something Spain has established by itself or can get rid of,” he said to i newspaper.
“It is true that after Brexit, some problems have emerged with people wanting to stay longer,” he added.
Spain is planning to urge Brussels to exempt British tourists from the restriction; the Tourism Secretary went on to say.
“It is in our interest to lobby and convince [the EU] we can try to work an exception with them. But the solution must come from them,” he said.
Before the pandemic, Spain received approximately 84 million tourists every year, Daily Express reports. Britons made up a significant percentage of that number, with around 17 million travelling to Spain yearly. The numbers have started to increase again, and between January and March this year, 1.8 million people from the UK visited Spain.
Spain relies on tourism for up to 12% of its GDP, yet Brexit has made travel between both countries more difficult as Britain departs EU-wide free movement agreements.
Moreover, discussions over residency permits and tourism have often come to a standstill. Earlier this year, UK expats were banned from driving in Spain using their UK licences as talks stalled.
However, negotiations are underway regarding a bilateral agreement permitting tourism workers to remain in Spain throughout the holiday season.
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