The regulations for crisis management derived from the COVID-19 pandemic are broad and changing, as is the epidemiological situation, which is causing governments around the world to have to readapt their legislation.
In addition, 2021 brought a new challenge due to the Brexit “new era” effects:
Denied boarding, cancellations or delays to flights from the UK to the EU country?
As from the 1st of January 2021, EU rules on air passenger rights do not apply on flights operated by a UK carrier or another non-EU carrier, even if you booked your flight before 31/12/2020.
On flights from UK operated by EU carriers to any other country of the EU, rules remain the same (unless you have already received compensation under UK law).
So, you can claim under EU laws if your flight is within the EU and is operated either by an EU or a non-EU airline (except the case explained previously), if it arrives in the EU from outside the EU and is operated by an EU airline and if you depart from the EU to a non-EU country and the flight is operated by an EU or a non-EU airline.
How to complain according to the EU laws:
You must take into consideration that the outbound and return flights are always considered as two separate flights even if they were booked as part of one reservation, and in some cases may not be the same as the one from which you bought your ticket, in any case the airline which hires the aircraft has operational responsibility for the flight.
Can the carriers deny boarding if I do not have a PCR?
Yes, boarding the flight can be denied if you are flying from high-risk areas. The information that the PCR certificate needs is:
traveller’s name, passport or ID number, test date and hour (remember only valid if carried out in the 72 hours before arrival and it must be written in Spanish, English, German or French), identification and contact details of the clinic, the technique used and obviously a negative result.
You also will need to complete a form (including children of any age), which you will sign electronically before your arrival in Spain. You can access the form and sign it via the following link :https://www.spth.gob.es/create
After you sign it and send it from the web or android/IOS app, you will receive a QR code which must be presented upon arrival (it is only valid in digital formats.
Remember that the passport/ID number used to get the QR code must be the same as the identification number that appears on the negative PCR certificate. Children under the age of 6 are exempt from the PCR test.
You will need a justifiable reason to travel to Spain, (travelling to work, to education where this cannot be done from home, to hospital, and other appointments such courts, and police departments). It is not allowed to travel abroad for holidays and other leisure purposes.
Take into consideration that while there is not a national lockdown in Spain each Autonomous Regions have specific regulations, for example in Andalusia it is not permitted to travel between provinces. You can check in this link the restrictions: https://www.mapacovid.es
Level 4.1 is local lockdown, so you are not allowed to leave or come in the municipality, level 4.2 same limitations than in level 4.1 plus only essential activities allowed. Exceptions applies.
Accommodation cancellations due to COVID-19 pandemic
Rights as a consumer depend on each national contractual law, which also will include the rules on extraordinary circumstances. EU consumer law does not regulate the consequences of cancellation of accommodation reservations.
Rules in Spain regarding accommodation Travellers rights:
Royal Decree-Law 11/2020, of March 31, adopts urgent complementary measures in the social and economic field to deal with Covid-19: Article 36 is amended, regarding the right of resolution of certain contracts without penalty from consumers and users. When, it may be impossible to execute travel or services as a consequence of the measures imposed by the different administrations during the de-escalation or “new normal”, in relation to the vouchers offered to passengers and tourists as an alternative to reimbursement of combined trips and cancelled transport services, the article is modified to circumscribe the possibility of issuing the vouchers for voluntary acceptance in advance by the passenger, and to establish the automatic 14-day period for reimbursement of the bonus amount at the end of its validity period, if it has not been redeemed.