A British woman was denied entry to Spain due to an unusual passport error.
Linda planned to travel from Gibraltar to Spain to visit her son but was stopped by border officials when they could not find a Spanish exit stamp in her passport from a visit in June.
As a result of the UK leaving the EU, British travellers must now have their passports stamped when entering or exiting a country in the Schengen Area and can only stay for 90 out of every 180 days.
According to local Spanish media, Linda said passport officials did not stamp her documents when she last left and was then seen as an "overstayer".
"I was denied entry to Spain on September 26 due to my passport not being stamped on exit on a previous one-week visit to Spain which started on June 4," Linda told The Local.
"The guards initially stamped my passport to enter, then they noticed I had no exit stamp from that one-week visit in June, thereby classing me as an overstayer and subsequently marked the entry stamp with the letter F and two lines.
"Even though I have proof of returning to the UK via banking activity as well as the test and trace Covid app, the border guards would not accept or look at any proof nor let me speak to anyone that could help.
"My son, who speaks Spanish, tried to explain that I had other proof of returning to the UK but the guards would not accept or even consider looking at it.
The British traveller said officials insisted that, since she had no stamp, she had overstayed her 90 days and would be arrested.
After contacting her MP and the consulate, Linda had still not achieved a solution and feared she wouldn't be able to visit Spain until the issue was resolved.
"The Spanish consulate in the UK will only accept my original boarding cards as proof of exit, and as flights were booked online, I obviously don't have them," she said.
"They will not accept screenshots or copies of any other proof I have. I have contacted my MP but was just directed back to the consulate thereby going round in circles.
"It's frustrating as I feel I'm being held responsible for something I had no jurisdiction over, in other words the guard's failure to stamp my passport.
"As I still have no exit stamp, I'm worried I will be denied entry again on further visits."
Spain's Interior Ministry was "aware of the current legislation relating to British nationals, resident and non-resident" but unable to provide The Local with a comment on Linda's circumstance.
Human error when it comes to stamps will soon be a thing of the past as the EU begins implementing a new system called the ESS (Entry/Exit System). This will replace the stamping of passports with a digital scan that checks a person's biometric information, name, date and location of entry and exit.