The Spanish Government is understood to be considering extending the closure of its borders until October, thereby preventing tourists from travelling to the popular holiday destination. A series of measures have been proposed by the Council of Ministers, the government’s main collective decision-making body, which would maintain restrictions on internal travel and the closure of its borders until the autumn.
Spain has been one of the worst-hit countries in Europe, with a death toll of 24,543 and over 239,639 confirmed coronavirus cases.
President Pedro Sanchez has just announced four phases of de-escalation and according to ABC, the reopening of borders will be a low priority.
They report that restrictions on international arrivals could remain in place until October.
Such a move echoes plans put forward by the Council of Ministers on Tuesday.
The plans also suggest extending internal travel restrictions until the Autumn.
Currently, Spaniards are banned from travelling between provinces and islands until at least June 22.
Locals would also be prohibited from travelling abroad themselves.
The measures proposed by the Spanish Government are only indicative, so the modifications could be altered or extended further.
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The document, seen by the newspaper, need the approval of Health Minister Salvador Illa before they are officially introduced.
But such a move could cripple the Spanish economy, as the country is hugely dependent on the tourism industry.
In 2019, about 126million international tourists were recorded in Spain, according to Statista, but this year’s figures are likely to be heavily depleted because of the pandemic.
Reyes Marota, the Minister for Tourism, Commerce and Industry, said today that the government has yet to set a date for when the country’s borders will reopen.
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She said the decision would be made in line with the European Union’s approach.
The minister said a time frame had not yet been agreed.
European tourism ministers hosted a virtual meeting earlier this week to discuss best practice for relieving restrictions on international travel.
The delegates from the 27 EU member states agreed on the need for a common exit plan to help revive their tourism industries.
Brussels is pushing for the bloc to lift restrictions on the movement of people between EU states.
But those wanting to travel into Europe from outside the bloc, including Britain, could have to wait much longer to be allowed entry.
Tenerife has suggested that international tourists, including those from the UK, won’t be allowed into the country until October.
Other countries are following suit, with Austria and Cyprus allowing tourists from countries with low coronavirus numbers – excluding the UK.
Additional reporting by Maria Ortega
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