The British Embassy is reaching out to UK citizens living in Spain who may be wondering if and when they are eligible for a Covid-19 vaccine shot.
“We know that some of you are concerned about how you will be able to get the Covid-19 vaccine in Spain – particularly those of you who don’t receive state healthcare,” said the embassy in a message on the Brits in Spain Facebook community. ”The Spanish government has been very clear that they will provide the vaccine to everyone in Spain as a matter of public health, regardless of nationality or how you access healthcare in Spain,” added the embassy note.
Healthcare in Spain is devolved to the regions, which are in charge of the Covid-19 vaccination drive. But the immunization campaign is operating at different speeds and with slightly different rules depending on each region, which means that “the way people access the vaccine will differ depending on where you live.”
People who are already registered for state healthcare should expect to be automatically contacted by their regional health service to make an appointment for a shot, whenever their turn comes up based on priority target groups.
As for people who are not registered for state healthcare, the embassy has provided a list of regional websites offering relevant information and even the option of registering for the vaccine. “The Spanish authorities are asking insurance companies to coordinate with regional health services in order to provide vaccines to their customers. UK nationals living in Spain with private insurance, who do not live in the areas listed in this post, can contact their local health center or private insurance company for more information,” said the embassy.
Support for vulnerable nationals
The British Embassy in Spain has also announced that the UK government is extending support for vulnerable UK nationals applying for residency in European countries. An additional £1 million (€1.2 million) in funding is being released for charities and voluntary organizations across Europe to support vulnerable UK nationals applying for residency, bringing the total to £4 million (€4.6 million).
Since March 2020, eight organizations have reached 350,000 vulnerable individuals using the UK Nationals Support Fund (UKNSF), said the embassy. In Spain, these include Age in Spain, Babelia and the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
“I am delighted that more funding has been provided to Age in Spain, Babelia and IOM through the UK Nationals Support Fund,” said British Ambassador to Spain Hugh Elliott. “These organizations provide vital support to UK nationals who need additional help with their residency application in Spain, so I urge any UK nationals who are struggling with the process to contact them for help.”
“The UK government is extending support for potentially at-risk groups including pensioners, disabled people and those with language difficulties who live in Europe by continuing the activity of the UK Nationals Support Fund and supplementing it with an additional £1 million,” said the embassy.
The UKNSF provides funds to eight organizations to support UK nationals who need assistance with their residency applications. These groups operate in 11 EU member states and Norway, and since the launch of the Fund in March 2020, they have provided practical support for UK nationals who need assistance with the process of applying or registering for residency in 12 European countries, following the end of the Transition Period. This funding is in addition to £3 million (€3.5 million) announced by the Foreign Secretary in March 2020.
Figures published by the Spanish Immigration Observatory show that as of December 31, 2020, there were 381,448 UK nationals holding a valid residency certificate or card in Spain.