Spain has joined the crowd of countries reopening to tourists this summer.
As lockdowns begin to lift across Europe, many tourism-dependent nations are quickly turning their attention to how quickly they can once again welcome visitors. Italy re-opened June 3, Iceland is eyeing up mid-June date to welcome travellers, and Greece hopes to have their lucrative tourist industry up and running again by the beginning of July. Now Spain – which, along with Italy and the UK, has been one of the countries worst-hit by the virus – has worked to re-open borders, with their Prime Minister announcing that European visitors will be welcomed back this month.
Last month, Spanish Transport Minister Jose Luis Abalos was interviewed on Spanish broadcaster TVE, and expressed his wish to start tourist activity by the end of June, noting that the border closures were only intended to be temporary. Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has now expanded on this, saying that from June 21, European visitors will be allowed to visit Spain again – without the need to quarantine for fourteen days. Sanchez pledged that the government would guarantee that “tourists will not run any risks, nor will they bring any risk to our country”, and invited tourists to begin planning holidays in Spain.
With an estimated 80 million tourists visiting Spain each year, the tourist industry is worth a massive amount to the nation’s economy – as Sanchez noted, “Spain needs tourism”. In removing the quarantine period, the government hopes to make the likes of Madrid, Barcelona, and Valencia easily accessible once more; a move helped by recent decisions from Ryanair and Easyjet to ramp up their flight operations in the next six weeks. Areas of Spain where tourism is particularly vital to the economy, such as the Canary and Balaeric Islands, are likely to make a big push to attract visitors, but it’s obviously worth bearing in mind that there’s still a good deal of uncertainty around when Brits will be able to head abroad. Still, nice to know we’ve got options if and when we’re able to jet off this year!