Holidays: Tourism Secretary ‘desperate’ to welcome Brits to Spain
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Spain’s minister for tourism has said the nation is pushing to welcome back tourists in June. However, officials have said key coronavirus restrictions will remain in place, with many impacting tourists.
Though the nation is set to lift its State of Emergency on May 9, Spain’s holiday hotspots are likely to continue coronavirus safety regulations.
The Balearics, Canary Islands and the Costa del Sol have all indicated that restrictions, including strict checks at airports, mask-wearing, curfews and even partial closure of the hotel industry, might continue after this Sunday.
The Balearic government has also gone to court to ask for special permission as leaders say they would need the backing of the law which the State of Emergency currently gives but which would disappear from May 9.
The Balearics, which include Majorca, Menorca and Ibiza, want the power to continue to impose and even strengthen if necessary coronavirus restrictions to avoid new outbreaks.
The islands’ government says it might want to increase its curfew orders, currently from 11pm to 6pm, and is asking for special permission to be allowed to impose the hours of 10pm to 7am if necessary.
The courts are also being asked to approve the need for all travellers into the Balearics to prove a negative PCR coronavirus test and to be able to close borders if needed.
The Balearics want to continue to limit social groups to six if necessary and capacity restrictions at places of worship.
And Balearic president, Francina Armengol is asking for legal permission for the partial closure of the hotel industry should coronavirus cases soar again.
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The government of the Canary Islands has further indicated that some restrictions will remain once Spain lifts the State of Emergency. This will include checks at airports and ports.
The Andalusian government, which covers the Costa del Sol, intends to announce details of measures that will be continued after May 9 and is seeking the backing of the courts.
The region wants the power to maintain perimeter closures in municipalities with incidence rates above 500 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.
President, Juanma Moreno said there are still localities above 500 and 1,000 cases of coronavirus and “we must prevent them from increasing infections in the neighbouring municipalities.
“Therefore, once the state of alarm subsides on May 9, Andalusia will request judicial endorsement to maintain the perimeter closures when necessary, something that we will do in a timely manner, safeguarding the powers of the community.”
He added: “If there is an outbreak, I will use all the instruments at our disposal and I will not hesitate to take measures no matter how harsh they may be to preserve people’s health.”
However, he has ruled out reimposing any curfews and will phase in increased hours for pubs and restaurants as more people get vaccinated.
“Covid has not gone away and people continue to die every day in Spain and Andalusia, they continue to be infected and suffer,” he said today.
“Therefore, despite starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, we must vaccinate and meet the vaccination objectives. “
UK citizens are currently waiting to find out when they will be able to visit the nation on holiday.
Though international travel is due to resume from May 17, this will depend on the UK Government’s “green list”.
Furthermore, Fernando Valdes Verelst, Spain’s tourism minister, has said Spain is not set to welcome back tourists until June when a COVID-19 travel certificate has been established by the EU.
“June will be the start of the recovery of tourism in Spain,” he said.
“By then, we will have a digital vaccination certificate in place and we will be able to reopen our borders.”
Additional reporting by Rita Sobot.
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