The Spanish government is planning to lift the two-week coronavirus quarantine requirement for people travelling from overseas on July 1.
Since May 15, the Spanish Health Ministry has required anyone travelling from outside of Spain to self isolate for 14 days. The government said that if the current state of alarm was lifted, these measures would be scrapped.
However, at a press conference held on Saturday, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez suggested that the state of alarm, that was put in place on March 14, could be ended in some areas before others.
Sanchez said “Tourism is a vital sector for the Spanish economy” and encouraged those working in that sector to “prepare for activity to resume in coming days and for when Spain reopens its doors to international tourism in July”.
“As you know, Spain receives more than 80 million visitors a year. I am announcing that from July, foreign tourists can also start planning their holidays in our country.”
Reaffirming the importance of tourism to the Spanish economy, Sanchez said “Spain needs tourism, and tourism needs safety in both origin and destination. We will guarantee that tourists will not run any risks, nor will they bring any risk to our country.”
"Health is not inconsistent with business; without health there is no business, and that's why the government will combine its firm financial support for the sector with full health guarantees.”
He concluded that “There will be a tourist season this summer”, with the domestic market returning first. And told Spanish residents to start planning their holidays and make the most of the “wonders” that Spain has to offer tourists. He said that many would be able to do this “very soon, from the end of June, onwards”.
He confirmed that the Spanish authorities had for weeks prior to the announcement, been coordinating the reopening of the Spanish borders.
Before May 15, Spain’s isolation period only applied to repatriated Spaniards and Spanish residents travelling from Italy. However, the current rules apply to all international travellers, with a few exceptions for specific types of workers.
The tourism industry has warned that the 14-day quarantine rule that currently applies to anyone entering the country, is quite likely to see tourists flee to rival holiday destinations such as Greece or Italy.
This is because both of these countries have stated that when they start welcoming foreign tourists, (in June or July) they will have no self-isolation rules in place.
However, in theory, Spain’s quarantine rule will only last until the state of alarm is lifted, with the most recent extension being until June 7.
Free Movement Deal
On Sunday, Maria Jesus Montero, the Finance Minister and government spokesperson said that Spain would be seeking “International consensus” for the free movement of travellers “at least with France, the United Kingdom, Portugal and Germany, the countries who send the highest number of tourists to the country”.
She also added that the government would work on an agreement with the countries from the Schengen area, “rather than bilateral deals with a variety of countries”.
In order to link areas within Spain that have moved into Phase Three of the plan to ease the lockdown restrictions, as well as with some European cities, the government plan to create “safe corridors” from June 22, allowing ease of movement within Spain.
The final words from the Spanish Prime Minister to foreign tourists were "Spain will be waiting for you from the month of July, and whoever comes to Spain, can be sure that they are coming to a land that has health guarantees and that is committed to the sustainability of our planet."
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