Spain is working on the plans for gradually opening he borders to tourists from nations that are deemed more secure in the fight against the coronavirus or COVID-19, probably starting from June 22, the tourism ministry stated on Wednesday.
After losing over 27,000 people and months of the economic activity due to the pandemic, Spain had earlier designated July 1 as the date to reopen to foreign tourism that accounts for 12 percent of its output.
Spain to Start tourism
Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez's government is due to lift a state of emergency on June 21, meaning that Spaniards will be able to start to move more freely again as the epidemic recedes. A tourism ministry spokesman said it was likely the same would start to apply to some foreigners on Monday, June 22, or possibly as early as Sunday, June 21.
"We want to reactivate and accelerate international mobility but starting with areas in similar epidemiological situations," said the spokesman, whose ministry is also responsible for trade and industry. Separately, Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya said Germany would lift a recommendation to avoid traveling to Spain as soon as Spain lifts restrictions on visitors from abroad.
Officials have said Spain is keen for travel protocols to be agreed on at the European level. The Balearic archipelago around the island of Ibiza and the Canary Islands off the northwest coast of Africa are the most advanced in their preparations to be offered as a safe destination, the tourism ministry spokesman said.
Spain has spoken to airlines and tour operators, primarily in Germany, which has reported many fewer deaths from the pandemic than those seen in smaller countries including Spain and Italy, he said. Spain has also discussed with Britain's Jet2 how to re-start business but is limited by the situation in Britain, where the COVID-19 death toll has passed 49,000, including suspected cases, according to a Reuters tally.
(With agency inputs)