Britons living in Spain are being turned away from Covid vaccine centres after not having the correct post-Brexit medical documentation, it has been claimed.
British newspapers report that local authorities are turning away those without valid European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC) or Global Health Insurance Cards (GHIC) and that do not have private health insurance.
That is despite the Spanish health minister repeatedly making clear the vaccine is available to anyone living in the country.
The reports accuse the country of reneging on the commitment “due to Brexit”.
John McKenzie, who has diabetes and a heart condition, said he has been stopped from registering at his local health centre in El Sauzal, Tenerife, four times since vaccinations got underway.
The 42-year-old told the Daily Telegraph: “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.
“Go away, we don’t vaccinate foreigners,” McKenzie said he was told at one stage.
Kate Harmond, who moved from Brighton to Lanzarote, said she and her husband, both in their 60s, were initially turned away by a health centre in Arrecife.
“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,” she told the newspaper.
After showing “every single possible document you can imagine” to prove residency they were eventually given a jab, she added.
A spokesperson for the Spanish Health Ministry told the Telegraph: “It is the regional governments who are in charge of the vaccination programme.”
UK nationals living in Spain can access the country’s national health system if an employer, or an individual, pays into the public insurance scheme; if individuals register a UK-issued S1 form, or have valid EHIC or GHIC documentation.
Those living in Spain before December 31, 2020 also have access to the country’s health service, while permanent residents who have lived there for five or more years are already entitled.