HomeTravelWidely reported £97 tourist rule is ‘a hoax’, says Spanish government

Widely reported £97 tourist rule is ‘a hoax’, says Spanish government


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The Spanish government has accused the English media of spreading “a hoax” about British tourists being asked to prove they have a certain amount of money to enter the country.

In recent weeks, there have been widespread news reports claiming holidaymakers may have to show proof of funds amounting to £97 per day for the duration of their visit, or else risk being denied entry by Spanish border officers. 

The rule has been described by some news outlets as “controversial” and British tourists have supposedly “slammed” the rule and threatened to “boycott” Spain as a result.

However, a spokesperson for the Spanish Ministry of the Interior has told The Telegraph that the £97 rule has been mis-reported in Britain. 

“These are not systematic controls for tourists and no entry denial has occurred for this reason,” they said. “This is a hoax spread from time to time by the English media, lacking rigour and without any basis.”

While the rule does exist in the fine print of the Schengen Borders Code, it is important to be aware of the wider context. Namely: it is not a new rule, it does not only affect UK visitors, and there is currently no precedent of it causing any problems for British tourists.

Does the ‘£97 per day rule’ actually exist?

Yes. Technically, third-nation (non-EU) citizens entering Spain could be asked to provide evidence that they have the funds to sustain their stay in the country. If asked, visitors may have to show that they have a minimum of €113.40 (£96.80) per day for the duration of their trip. This proof could be in the form of cash, traveller’s cheques, or a credit card plus a printed statement. You may also be asked for proof of accommodation and a return or onward ticket. Full details of the rule can be found on the Spanish Ministry of the Interior website.

Has anyone ever been denied entry?

The Spanish Ministry of the Interior confirmed that no British tourist has been denied entry to Spain after failing to provide evidence of funds. 

It appears tourists are rarely quizzed at all. In a poll carried out by Chelsea Dickenson of cheapholidayexpert.com, 98.6 per cent of 1,373 respondents said they hadn’t been asked for evidence at passport control in Spain. Just three gave examples of being asked for proof of funds (two in Alicante, one in Madrid) – each said they were waved through when they presented a credit card. 

Telegraph Travel expert Annie Bennett, who frequently flies between the UK and Spain, says she has never encountered the £97 rule being enforced and called the reports “tabloid hysteria”. 

Sally Davies, The Telegraph’s Barcelona expert, says: “It’s just nonsense, all of it. Spain adores tourists and falls over itself to accommodate them.”

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