Spanish borders will be closed to most travellers from abroad until July to avoid a second wave of coronavirus, according to Foreign Ministry sources.
Land borders with France and Portugal have been closed since the State of Emergency was declared in mid-March to fight the pandemic, bringing the economy to a virtul stand-still and hitting the Tourism Sector really hard.
Spain has already started easing the lockdown restrictions for residents, but a two-week quarantine has been imposed on foreign travellers and air and maritime travel borders are closed to avoid importing new cases from other countries.
The new quarantine measure will expire on May 24 when the State of Emergency lapses, but it’s possible that they could both be extended.
International travel restrictions are likely to remain in place for much longer than the May 24 deadline, no matter how crucial tourism is to the Spanish economy, accordion to Foreign Ministry sources.
“When we reach the new normal we can start opening borders with Schengen countries and we are talking about opening to them in early July,” said one source and a second confirmed that the Spanish Central Government did not expect to open borders before July.
The Central Government is also studying ways to control who can and can’t enter the country to make sure a new wave of infections is not imported by travellers from abroad.
“The two models proposed are either sanitary corridors or medical-testing and this is the debate we are holding with other European countries,” sources said, adding that, “part of the holiday season could still be saved by tourists from Schengen countries.”
Spain is the world’s second most visited country and with some 80 million people coming every year, Tourism accounts for around 12% of gross domestic product.
Hoteliers in places such as the Balearic Islands have been lobbying the Government to set up special travel corridors for tourists from Germany and other countries.