Spain to reopen borders for tourists from July: PM

- A Monitor Desk Report 08 Jun, 2020 | 1039 Views|-+
Dhaka: Spain will reopen its borders for foreign tourists from July, Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez announced on May 23, promising that the country will guarantee the safety of travellers as it emerges from one of the most extreme coronavirus lockdowns in Europe.

“Foreign tourists can also start planning their holidays in our country. Spain needs tourism and tourism needs safety in both origin and destination. We will guarantee that tourists will not run any risks, nor will they bring any risks to our country,” the Prime Minister added.

Spain’s tourism sector, which accounts for 12.5 per cent of its GDP and over 12 per cent of employment, suffered huge damage from the COVID-19 pandemic.

More than 18 million British tourists visited Spain on holiday last year, the biggest market by nationality.

Hence, Sánchez had a special message to British tourists: “The connection between Spain and Britain is total in many ways from the point of economy and tourism. We would like to offer our absolute solidarity to the British society in this critical moment.”

He said the Spanish government had been planning to open up to safe tourism for weeks.

“This message was designed to give British tour operators and companies some confidence,” the Spanish tourism ministry said.

“It is very important to give this sector a date – July – so that British tourists know they can book their holidays.”

Popular destinations like the Balearic Islands, the Canaries and the Costa del Sol, where COVID-19 infection rates have been lower than in Madrid and Barcelona, will be prioritised by the government, the source said.

Guidelines on implementing sanitary checks at hotels, restaurants and airports, and avoiding crowding on beaches, are being drawn up by the Spanish authorities.

Spain, one of the worst-hit countries, imposed a two-week quarantine on foreign visitors earlier this month to try to halt the spread of coronavirus, which has claimed 27,136 lives and infected 288,630 people, according to worldometers.

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