From 15th June, thousands of German holidaymakers have been able to enjoy Spain’s "new normal" on the Balearic Islands to test whether Mediterranean archipelago is corona-safe, but the wait for UK holidaymakers is coming to an end.
The Spanish government has given the green light to allow foreign tourists to visit the Balearic Islands on a pilot test that began on 15th June 2020, initally more than two weeks before Spain would officially open its borders to international visitors after the coronavirus pandemic. This programme has been designed to assess whether the COVID-19 safety protocols that have been established in airports, hotels, and holiday destinations are working correctly ahead of 21st June 2020, when other tourists will officially be able return to Spain without being subject to 14-day quarantine restrictions. Spain initally stated that other visitors could arrive from 1st July, a date that has since been moved to 21st June.
From 15th June, thousands of German holidaymakers only will be able to enjoy Spain’s "new normal" on the Balearic Islands to test whether Mediterranean archipelago is corona-safe, travelling either to hotels chosen by the government or to their own private holiday homes. By the end of June, up to 10,900 Germans will be allowed to travel to Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza, and Formentera with no 2-week quarantine restrictions, meaning that Brits will have to wait a little longer to soak up the sun, but only a week.
Why only German tourists? And what about travelling from the UK to the Balearic Islands? Commenting on why the administration had opted exclusively for the German market for the islands’ tourism pilot project during the second half of June, regional president Francina Armengol made the following comments regarding the UK: “The epidemiological situation in the country is not the same as in the Balearics.” Germany, on the other hand, is “a safe destination and meets the criteria laid down by the European Union for establishing safe corridors.”
The British Embassy in Spain, after stating that the British and Spanish governments were working so that British tourists can visit and holiday in the Balearics safely this summer, has now been announced that Brits can travel to the islands from 21st June 2020. The embassy stated in a Twitter post that "the Spanish government has confirmed to us that the UK is included within the group of countries to whom these border relaxations will apply", meaning that British tourists will be free to travel to all of Spain without having to observe quarantine restrictions from 21st June.
The Balearic Islands are the first region of Spain to open their doors to international tourists. The regional government in the Canary Islands is also currently negotiating with the government in Madrid in a bid to launch similar project with 9,000 potential holidaymakers but considers the proposed hygiene and security regulations to be insufficient. On the other hand, Spanish holiday destinations will be in stiff competition with other southern European destinations such as Portugal, Italy or Greece, countries which have already announced clear relaxations on lockdown restrictions to boost tourism this summer 2020.