Coronavirus: Spain to reopen to overseas tourists from 21st June

Spain’s 14-day coronavirus quarantine for visitors from abroad will be lifted for the summer season.

Tourists could be taking to Spain's beaches once again this summer / Photo by Pilar Camacho Álvarez on Unsplash
Tourists could be taking to Spain's beaches once again this summer / Photo by Pilar Camacho Álvarez on Unsplash
28 May 2020, Emma Donaldson

Good news is in store for the Spanish tourism industry after COVID-19 and those who are holding onto the hope of having a summer holiday in Spain this year or those travelling from abroad to their Spanish holiday homes, as the Spanish Government has announced that the recently introduced restriction which states that visitors arriving from abroad must be quarantined for 14 days, will be lifted from 21st June 2020 and coronavirus self-isolation will no longer be necessary.

The Government’s initial COVID-19 quarantine restrictions proved controversial, with neighbouring European countries almost immediately announcing a reciprocal quarantine rule for anyone travelling from Spain, with tourism chiefs warning that such a measure would further discourage tourists from planning a visit in the long-term.

The news was initally announced after a recent press conference by the Spanish President, Pedro Sánchez, stating that Spain is preparing to kickstart its tourism sector and welcome visitors from July in the advanced steps of the country's reopening plan. "Today I am announcing that from the month of July, entry for foreign tourists into Spain will resume in secure conditions”, as well as reaffirming the importance of tourism for the Spanish economy, a sector that has been hard hit by the COVID-19 health crisis. In his speech, Sánchez said the country would be ready for domestic tourism and to welcome visitors in the summer, highlighting that "foreign tourists can also start planning their holidays in our country”. Arancha González Laya, Spain’s Exterior Minister later confirmed via social media that quarantine for visitors from abroad would no longer apply from 1st July, however, most recent updates from the government has brought this date forward to 21st June, a date when the foreign holiday industry would be 'gradually reactivated', but 'with the necessary health and safety conditions in place'.

The international tourism season therefore is not off the cards this summer, but will it be the same as before? The answer is probably not. As both Sánchez and González Laya stated, health and safety measures will be in place, measures that will undoubtedly affect beaches, bars and restaurants and hotels to name but a few. It is likely that bathers will have to reserve a slot at the beach or pool or be given a maximum time in the water. And in areas where it is not possible to respect the two-metre safety distance, then the capacity of the space could be reduced further until physical distancing can be adhered to. Disinfecting and thorough cleaning will also be key.

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