September Events

September Events

3rd September

12.30 – 14.00 BST

European Parliament
Liaison Office
Live Webinar:
The European Parliament & Future EU-UK trade relations
Register here

EP Event
3rd September

19.00 BST

Grassroots For Europe Webinar:
Britain’s road back to Europe. How quickly can Brexit be reversed? Featuring journalist Will Hutton
Register here

GFE event 030920
12th September

15.00 – 18.30 BST

BBC Proms EU Flags
Details being confirmed, Covid measures will apply
Reserve a place here
EU Flag Mafia event 120920

16th September
19.00 BST

EU Citizens in the UK Webinar:
Challenges, Stories & What Next?
Guest speakers:
Matt Rodda MP
Elena Remigi – In Limbo
Monique Hawkins – The 3 Million

EU Citizens Event
23rd September

20.00 – 21.30 BST

Ian Dunt Online Event
How to be a liberal.
Hosted by Bath for Europe & Cambridge for Europe
Register here

Ian Dunt event 230920

29th September
18.00 – 19.00 BST

UK in a Changing Europe
Beyond Brexit Live
With Lisa Nandy MP & Anand Menon.
Register here

Sept 29th
Spain’s recent rise in infections is of concern to us all including the retired

Spain’s recent rise in infections is of concern to us all including the retired

When I dreamt of a Spanish retirement over many a cold, grey, British winter, the last few months of living with Covid did not feature in my vision, writes Sue Wilson.
Governments and medical professionals might have game-planned potential pandemic scenarios, but the general public were living in ignorant bliss. The shock, when it came in March, was scary and dramatic, and on an unprecedented scale.

When the worst appeared over, and safety measures were relaxed, our relief was tinged with caution, and lots of unanswered questions. Was it safe to go out? Would there be a second wave? Would life ever return to normal?

Covid aside, retirement in Spain has been everything I could have hoped for, and more. Although the rise in new Spanish cases has been alarming, we’ve been relatively virus free in my usually quiet corner of the Costa Azahar.

Being retired during lockdown has provided some relief. I’ve avoided concerns like earning a living, or worrying about job security, and the restrictions have affected me less than the younger, more social animals.

Covid people

Recent changes to safety measures, such as the closure of nightclubs, or the “early” closure of restaurants and bars at 1 am have not affected my life one iota.

Like everyone else, I have missed my family and friends, but not eating out is not a hardship, and the shopping restrictions have ensured my bank balance, at least, is healthier.

Regardless of age or personal circumstances, the recent rise in infection rates in Spain concerns us all.

The article in full can be found over at The Local.

The New Normality

The New Normality

Now that the coronavirus crisis is under control, Spain has entered a new de-escalation phase.

After 14 weeks of strict lockdown measures, the ‘state of alert’ finally ended at midnight on June 21.

The new phase, known as the “new normality”, sees the lifting of mobility restrictions, but some health and safety measures will remain in place. The measures include the compulsory wearing of face masks when a safe distance of 1.5 metres is not possible.

Responsibility for safety measures will now rest with the regional governments and will remain in place until the pandemic is considered to be over.

Check back with us regularly for the LATEST NEWS updates re: changes to safety measures, travel arrangements, quarantine and much more

AUGUST 25: Autonomous regions can request ‘state of alert’; contract tracing support from military & government app

  • In a press conference today, Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez offered regional premiers the authority to request their own ‘state of alert’, firmly putting the authority back with the regions. Sánchez said the progress of the coronavirus curve was worrying and that it “needed to be tackled”.
  • In Catalonia and Madrid – two of the worst affected areas for new cases – the Prime Minister has offered the support of the military to aid with contract tracing.
  • Regional authorities are being encouraged to roll out the use of a new contract tracing app, created by the government. If widely used by the public, the ‘Radar Covid’ app is expected to reduce the impact of the pandemic by 30%. The app does not require the supply of personal data, so personal privacy is protected.

Sign up to the new app (currently available in Andalusia, Cantabria, Aragón & Extremadura): https://radarcovid.app/andalucia-cantabria-aragon-extremadura-app-radarcovid/

AUGUST 14: Health Minister announces new measures to curb the spread of the virus

Minister of Health, Salvador Illa, today announced a ban on smoking in outside public spaces and closure of nightclubs, discos & music bars.

Illa said that smoking is only allowed in open public spaces as long as a safe distance of 2 meters can be maintained.

In hospitality premises, a minimum safe distance of 1.5 metres must be maintained at bars & tables, with a maximum of 10 people only at each table.

All establishments, including bars and restaurants, will have to close at 1:00 am & no new patrons will be allowed entry after midnight.

AUGUST 7: Guidance for wearing masks

The Spanish government has issued advice about wearing masks, in order to keep the population safe from coronavirus.

Valencia Masks
  • Wash your hands first
  • Make sure your mask is in good condition
  • Wear the mask the right way round:
    • Metal strip at the top
    • Coloured side on the outside
  • Make sure to cover your nose, mouth & chin
  • Ensure the mask fits correctly, with no gaping
  • Don’t touch the mask while wearing (except for the straps)
  • Replace mask after a maximum of 4 hours wear

JULY 18: Wearing of masks now mandatory in the Valencian Community

Following the example set by many other Spanish regions, the wearing of masks became mandatory today in the Valencian Community. The decision was taken due to the four-fold increase in the number of infections of 20 to 40-year olds.

Masks will be compulsory at all time, with the following exceptions:

  • on the beach or in a swimming pool
  • in outdoor areas such as the countryside or the mountains
  • in bars & restaurants
  • for those with respiratory problems
  • whilst taking part in sports activities
Valencia Masks
Valencia Masks

JULY 14: Many Spanish regions implement mandatory face coverings

A number of regional governments are making the wearing of face masks compulsory in public spaces. The following regions have either made face coverings mandatory or are about to:

  • Aragón, Asturias, Cantabria, Navarre, La Rioja, Catalonia, the Balearic Islands, Extremadura, Andalusia & Murcia

In the Valencia region, the option is being seriously considered – a decision will be reached shortly.

For more on this story, read El Pais: https://english.elpais.com/spanish_news/2020-07-13/with-over-100-coronavirus-outbreaks-more-spanish-regions-make-face-masks-mandatory.html

Masks

June 30: Spain prepares to open its borders

As part of reciprocal arrangements between the European Union & 15 other countries, Spain will open its borders from July 1.

The named countries have been selected based on the epidemiological situation in each country, which must have a similar or lower contagion rate than the European average for every 100,000 inhabitants for 14 days. 

The named countries are: Algeria, Australia, Canada, Japan, Georgia, Morocco, Montenegro, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay. China will also be included, but only if visitors from the EU receive reciprocal treatment.

For more on this story, read El Pais: https://english.elpais.com/society/2020-06-30/as-eu-prepares-to-reopen-borders-spanish-experts-stress-importance-of-coronavirus-safety-measures.html

Airport

June 21: All of Spain enters the ‘New Normality’

The ‘state of alert’ has officially ended after 24 weeks of lockdown measures. Whilst many restrictions have been removed, 4 essential rules remain:

  • Social distancing of 1.5 meters
  • Compulsory wearing of face masks when social distancing measures cannot be maintained
  • Hand washing/sanitising
  • Hygiene in public & private spaces

Travel between provinces is now allowed, and travel from EU countries/UK is now permitted, without quarantine, with the exception of Portugal (to follow shortly).

June 21: Brits can visit Spain without quarantine

Spain’s Foreign Minister, Arancha Gonzalez, has announced that with immediate effect, British citizens can travel to Spain from today, without facing quarantine measures. British visitors will need to:

  • Provide contact information & any history of Covid exposure
  • Undergo a temperature check & a visual health assessment

For full travel details re Spain, checkout this EU webpage, updated in real time – use the icons on the right to scroll around transport options: https://reopen.europa.eu/en/map/ESP

Currently this decision is a unilateral one, & we await confirmation regarding quarantine measures for Brits returning from Spain to the UK.

 

Read more on this story in El Pais here: https://english.elpais.com/society/2020-06-20/no-quarantine-for-uk-travelers-entering-spain-foreign-minister-confirms.html

USEFUL LINKS:

Spanish Department of Health travel page has useful travel/health information about including the online travel form: https://www.spth.gob.es/

Worldometers monitor the number of cases & death tolls, by country: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

Institute for Health Metrics & Evaluation (IHME) COVID-19 death toll projections for Spain: https://covid19.healthdata.org/spain

For updates about the lockdown rules – Boletín Oficial del Estado: https://www.boe.es/index.php?lang=en

The Spanish government website has all the latest news from Spain, in English: https://www.lamoncloa.gob.es/lang/en/Paginas/index.aspx

N322 Road Safety Association has a wealth of information about lockdown measures on their Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/DrivingSpain/

European Commission coronavirus home page: https://ec.europa.eu/health/coronavirus_en

WHO specific information on Spain: http://www.euro.who.int/en/countries/spain

WHO specific information on UK: http://www.euro.who.int/en/countries/united-kingdom-of-great-britain-and-northern-ireland

Spanish Ministry of Health, Consumer Affairs & Social Welfare: https://www.mscbs.gob.es/en/home.htm

Spanish Ministry of the Environment: https://www.miteco.gob.es/es/ministerio/medidas-covid19/

UK Foreign Office travel advice for Spain: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/spain

Brits in Spain (British Embassy in Madrid) Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/BritsInSpain/

Brits in Spain website: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/living-in-spain#coronavirus

‘We’re still waiting to be reunited with family and friends’

‘We’re still waiting to be reunited with family and friends’

Whether you’ve been put off travelling by the virus itself, or the anti-virus measures, the result is the same, writes Bremain in Spain’s Sue Wilson.
The Covid pandemic has affected our lives in ways we couldn’t have imagined at the start of this year. After several months of lockdown, our world started to open up again – albeit gradually – on June 21st, with the introduction of the “new normality”.

The impact on the tourism industry, the third largest contributor to the Spanish economy, has naturally been of great concern to the Spanish authorities. With travel proving inherently risky during the pandemic, expectations are of a record low tourist season. Furthermore, other countries – not least the UK – are quarantining travellers from Spain for up to 14 days. As a result, many people have decided their only option is to stay at home.

Before the UK opted to quarantine anyone landing from Spain, British tourists were already arriving in reduced numbers. Many were visiting family here, after a lengthy separation caused by the lockdown closing the borders. Those who were already visiting Spain when the UK government announced the new quarantine, with just a few hours’ notice, were caught by surprise.

They returned home, some earlier than planned, wondering if their 14 days self-isolation would be funded by their employers or from their own pocket. One thing was clear: the British government would not be paying for its own policy decision.

The quarantine resulted in many Brits cancelling their travel plans, whether they were heading from the UK to Spain or vice versa. Those of us wanting to fly off to see family were dealt another cruel Covid blow.

You can read the full article over at The Local. 

‘Who are the Brits who have flocked to Spain because of Brexit?’

‘Who are the Brits who have flocked to Spain because of Brexit?’

Ever since the UK voted to leave the EU Brits have been on the move, with many heading to Spain. Many are accepting a cut in wages and career prospects, but they’re willing to make the sacrifice, writes Sue Wilson from Bremain in Spain.
A recent study by the Oxford University in Berlin and the WZB Social Science Centre has revealed a significant rise in the numbers of Brits migrating to Europe.

Since the Brexit referendum, the numbers of Brits choosing to live in EU countries has increased by 30 percent. Spain has seen the largest increase in numbers, with an estimated 380,000 British nationals now living here. EU countries have witnessed a 500 percent increase in applications for citizenship, as British migrants strive to retain their freedom of movement rights.

Daniel Tetlow, an author of the study, said: “We’re observing a new social migration phenomenon and a redefinition of what it means to be British-European.”

Ever since the UK voted to leave the EU, British citizens in the UK have been on the move. Many wanted to fulfil a long-held dream to migrate, while it was easier and cheaper to do so. For others, it was a fresh idea, and a means of retaining valuable rights for their families.

Although many of the incoming British residents arrived soon after the referendum, the process is still underway. The Covid crisis ended many plans and put paid to many home sales. Now that things are returning to ‘the new normality’, plans are being expedited. With just a few short months left before the end of the transition period, the clock is ticking.

Nobody is suggesting a move to Spain once Brexit is finally ‘done’ is impossible. However, it would be more complicated and expensive. The exact requirements are still being defined and may be more akin to those for other Third Country Nationals.

The main reason to move to Spain this year is the rights secured during the UK/EU negotiations. The legally binding Withdrawal Agreement (WA) enshrines residency, work and social rights, including protecting healthcare and pension rights.

People dreaming of retirement in Spain can benefit from the WA protections. Even those who aren’t of pensionable age by the end of 2020 will still qualify for healthcare and pension benefits, assuming they’ve made the appropriate level of UK contributions.

You can read the full article over at The Local.