Spain plans to scrap 90 day rule for Brits

In a bold move, Spain aims to eliminate the 90 day limit imposed on UK visitors, granting them the freedom to extend their stay indefinitely. Unlike non-EU tourists who are restricted to a maximum of 90 days within any 180 day period across Schengen area countries, British holidaymakers may soon enjoy a more flexible arrangement.

Acknowledging that this restriction hinders Spain's interests, Spanish Tourism Secretary, Fernando Valdés, plans to appeal to EU authorities in order to relax this rule specifically for UK visitors.


"It is true that after Brexit some problems have emerged with people wanting to stay longer."

Spain plans to lobby Brussels to exempt British tourists from the rule, Valdés explained.

"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." 

"Unfortunately, is not something Spain has established by itself or can get rid of."

What makes British tourists a vital asset for Spain?


Prior to the outbreak of the pandemic, Spain welcomed a staggering 84 million tourists annually, with a significant 17 million of them originating from Britain. However, the number of visitors dwindled due to pandemic restrictions. Fortunately, there has been a resurgence, as 1.8 million Brits flocked to Spain in the first quarter of 2022.

Tourism plays a crucial role in Spain's economy, accounting for 12 percent of its GDP. Unfortunately, the aftermath of Brexit has posed challenges for travel between the UK and Spain, as the UK withdraws from the EU's free movement agreements.

Discussions surrounding residency permits and tourism have encountered obstacles, leading to setbacks such as the ban on British expats using their UK licenses for driving in Spain. Nevertheless, Spain is determined to rekindle the presence of British tourists and is actively negotiating a bilateral agreement to allow tourism workers to stay in the country throughout the holiday season.