The European nation Spain lifted the ban on direct flights and ships from Italy but retained a block on the cruise ships and the quarantine for all inbound travelers as a survey showed the coronavirus or COVID-19 outbreak has also stopped the locals from traveling.
The reduction in the death rate due to the novel virus has encouraged Spain, with the nation's fourth-highest number of infections, to start eating one of Europe's strictest lockdowns. But the economy that is tourism-dependent is likely to have to wait until late June for welcoming the holidaymakers back.
Spain Lifted Ban on Direct Flights and Ships From Italy
Madrid surprised its European partners by introducing a two-week quarantine last week. Flights from Italy had been blocked since March 11. Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez is preparing to ask parliament to extend until late June a state of emergency which has helped limit infections but also brought unprecedented restrictions on borders and movement, causing huge economic damage.
The Bank of Spain forecasts the economy could contract between 9.5 percent-12.4 percent in 2020. The pandemic has become Spaniards' biggest worry, and most of them plan to change habits when they are free to move, according to a poll by the government's Centre for Sociological Studies released on Tuesday.
Just 14 percent of those surveyed said they planned to travel abroad when the lockdown is lifted. Big purchases are on hold - only 4.2 percent were thinking about buying a new car and 3.4 percent a house. Bars and restaurants will have to coax back the 30% of people who said they preferred not eat outside their homes.
While the poll reported 48.4 percent of Spaniards do not trust the government, it showed 75 percent want to leave criticism aside for now and back authorities. At the peak of the outbreak, Spain was losing hundreds of citizens a day as stretched hospitals and care homes struggled to treat patients, but on Monday it reported the lowest overnight death toll in two months, 59, up to a total of 27,709 deaths, with 250,000 cases.
(With agency inputs)