• Quote: ‘How we can have a validated form from the Spanish Travel Health government site allowing entry – then told this isn’t sufficient?’

By Andrew Atkinson

Passengers were turned away from boarding a Ryanair flight to Spain – for not carrying the correct Covid-19 documentation.

31 passengers were denied boarding a flight from East Midlands airport, due to Spain being on the UK amber-list and having incorrect Covid-19 documents including no proof of Spanish residency.

The paperwork, at the time – May 21 – was required by the Spanish government for people travelling to the country.

From May 24, the requirement is no longer in place.

Spain has opened its borders to visitors from countries that have low infection rates, including Britain.

“When I arrived at the airport I was asked to go to the Ryanair gate to have my documents checked.

“I did not expect any issue as I had been very thorough in obtaining all the documents they required,” said one passenger, who wished to remain anonymous, but who was refused boarding.

“I was met by a woman – who informed people they would not be travelling unless they had a Spanish passport, proof of an application for residency or a letter from the UK Government saying the trip was essential.

“This led to anger, aggression and tears – three police officers had to oversee discussions. It was a truly shameful situation that caused great distress and large financial losses to some people.

“How we can have a validated form from the Spanish Travel Health government site allowing our entry and then be told this isn’t sufficient? This was distressing for many people.

“Ryanair has all customers’ email addresses and telephone numbers – they could have contacted all passengers 24 hours prior to travelling.

“This really is shameful – I hope it doesn’t happen to other UK travellers in the future,” they added.

A spokesman for East Midlands Airport said: “On Friday, May 21, 31 passengers were refused boarding onto a flight to Malaga for not having a Spanish residency permit.

“The decision, taken by the airline’s handling agent, was in line with the requirements of the Spanish authorities at the time.

“We encourage anyone planning to travel overseas to familiarise themselves with what is required of both the destination country and the UK’s regulations prior to booking flights.”

Thousands of non-resident passengers have booked flights from the UK to Spain, arriving from May 24.

Spain remains on the UK amber list, under the Department for Transport’s traffic light system. Ministers have stated not to fly, without a valid reason.

Arrivals to the UK from amber list countries at present must self-isolate upon returning home for 10 days and take two coronavirus tests.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez opened the doors to travel on May 24 from the UK to Spain, with a plethora of passengers reportedly booking flights week commencing May 24.

An expected 100,000 tourists could be jetting into Spain this week.

Caption: 31 passengers turned away from boarding flight to Spain. Photo: Derby live