What to do if you're a tourist caught up in a new coronavirus outbreak in Spain

Photo by Jorge Fernández Salas on Unsplash
23 July 2020, Emma Donaldson

The summer holidays are well underway in Spain and tourists have been arriving from abroad since the end of June. However, despite living in the "new normal" with this increase in movement, Spain has also seen an increase in localised coronavirus outbreaks and local lockdowns. If you’re planning to travel to Spain this summer, check out this advice of what to do if you get caught up in a COVID-19 outbreak affected area.

If I’m on a holiday in an area where there is an outbreak and a new lockdown is imposed, can I leave?

If you’re on a holiday in an area which is affected by a new coronavirus lockdown, non-residents or tourists should be given a limited period to leave the area by the authorities. This has been the case in areas such as Lleida and Lugo where local lockdowns have already been put in place, but the final decision will depend on the regional government in the area in which you’re travelling and could vary depending on the extent of the outbreak.

What should I do if have to leave an area which has been put in lockdown?

If you leave an infected area, continue to observe social distancing measures and be aware in case you develop any coronavirus symptoms, such as coughing, breathing difficulties or an unusually high temperature. If you do develop symptoms, immediately begin to self-isolate and contact the local health authorities who will be able to advise you what to do next.  

What if I test positive for the virus when I’m on holiday in Spain?

If you test positive for the virus during your holiday, it has been stated by the government that regional authorities must provide tourists and non-residents with a place to stay, such as hotels, sports halls and hotels specially designated for this purpose.

What happens if I’ve booked a hotel or apartment in an area that is affected by COVID-19 and I have to cancel my trip?

If your reservation has to be cancelled due to COVID-19, then travellers are entitled to a full refund according to the consumer council FACUA. This is the case if you cancel the reservation as the traveller, or if the accommodation you are planning to stay in cancels your stay.

How long do these local lockdowns last?

There is no specified length of time for the local lockdowns in Spain and the duration depends on the extent of the outbreak. Some areas in Spain, such as parts of Catalonia, are putting lockdowns in place that are expected to last for weeks, while in other areas in Northern Spain with fewer cases, there have been local lockdowns for as little as 5 days.

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