Spain will open gradually to tourism, with Europe first
Spain will open gradually to tourism this summer, starting with European countries, and will ensure visitors only go to areas that have the coronavirus under control, Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya said, Reuters reports.
Spain usually welcomes more than 80 million visitors each year, making it one of the most visited countries in the world, with tourism a key part of its economy.
But it has been hard hit by the coronavirus crisis and wants to be cautious as it opens to visitors from July 1, Gonzalez Laya told Reuters.
“In this very atypical year of 2020, we will not be able to behave as usual,” she said.
“It’s health. It’s making sure that we do not import cases as we are trying to control the cases we have in the country. It’s very prudent management on our side to make sure we put COVID under control.”
Much remains to be decided as to who will be able to travel where and on what criteria, with talks going on first with European countries on when a territory can be deemed safe, Gonzalez Laya said.
“We need to define what is safe. Is it to have 50 infections? Is it four? It’s very important that this definition be made at European level, because this is ultimately the guarantee of non-discrimination,” she said, calling for common rules on issues such as testing visitors.
Spain is considering opening its own territory gradually to foreign tourism as regions exit lockdown, Gonzalez Laya said.