BRITISH expats in Spain say they’ve been refused the Covid vaccine despite the Madrid government extending the rollout to all residents.
Officials have reportedly denied the jab to expats without a public health card as, under post-Brexit rules, Brits living in Spain need private health insurance.
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But Spain’s Health Ministry has said all residents should have equal access to Covid vaccine jabs.
One Brit living in Tenerife said he was told “go away, we don’t vaccinate foreigners” on a visit to his health centre.
John McKenzie, who has diabetes and a heart condition, said he’s been prevented from registering at his health centre in El Sauzal four times.
Mr McKenzie, 42, said: “The first time they said they cannot register people on private insurance for the vaccine in the absence of any instruction from the Canarian government.
“It’s very frightening not being able to have the vaccine when you have health conditions like I do.”
Kate Harmond and her husband, who are both in their 60s, were initially turned away by a health centre in Arrecife, Lanzarote.
She said: “We had an appointment, but when we got there they said that we couldn’t have the vaccine as we did not have a public health card.
“Luckily, I had a Spanish friend with me and had photocopies of every single possible document you can imagine to prove we are residents, and we got our jabs.
“The next thing will be to see if we can get a vaccination certificate for travelling, or whether that will become the next battle.”
It’s very frightening not being able to have the vaccine when you have health conditions like I do
The Spanish government has ordered that all residents should be vaccinated, by age or health group.
But a spokesman for Spain’s Health Ministry said: “It is the regional governments who are in charge of the vaccination programme.”
Jim Phillips, from the group Brexpats, which helps Brits in with Brexit-related issues, said: “It’s very inconsistent. Some British residents feel excluded and others have been able to register.
The group said it had received a lot of complaints from British citizens being told that they can’t register for the jab.
Mr Phillip added: “It’s a problem because the Canary Islands wants to open fully to tourism with 70 per cent of the population vaccinated, and these people being excluded tend to live in key tourism areas.”
Spain is set to be added to the UK’s amber list of countries to visit from May 17.
The rule means people returning to the UK will have to self-isolate at home for 10 days rather than pay £1,750 for a quarantine hotel stay.
Only 12 countries are on the green list, with just four letting Brits in.
Portugal, Gibraltar, Iceland and Israel will soon let travellers from the UK back into the country although are likely to require proof of both vaccine jabs.