Spain will welcome some travellers from June 21, but British holidaymakers are warned against all non-essential foreign travel
Spain will free its borders to members of the EU’s Schengen Zone, earlier than expected on June 21. The border was originally due to continue closed until July 1.
Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez stated the decision on June 14 during a conference call with regional governors, as published by Spanish newspaper El Pais.
Meanwhile, British holidaymakers are the nation’s sole largest visitors’ group – 18 million Britons went there in 2019 – and Spain is interested in their return.
How is Spain easing its lockdown?
The Spanish government is advancing with its four-phase plan for lifting lockdown, which is developing at different rates over its 17 regions. Each regional government must send recommendations to the country’s health ministry to determine whether it can move to the next phase.
Madrid and Barcelona began the second phase on June 8. Under this phase, guests are allowed to eat and drink inside bars. Restaurants and crowds of up to 15 can attend.
However, more than a share of the country’s population had climbed onto stage three by June 8. Under this phase, street cafés can open at 75 per cent, bars can reopen with a third of their space with social distancing standards in place, and social gatherings of up to 20 people are supported. Casinos will also be able to resume at 50 per cent capacity. The following regions are now in phase three: Galicia, Asturias, Navarre, Basque Country, La Rioja, Cantabria, Aragon, Extremadura, Murcia, the Balearic Islands of Mallorca and Ibiza, and the Canary Islands of Tenerife, Gran Canarias, La Palma, Lanzarote and Fuerteventura.
Am I acknowledged to go there?
Those who keep a green residency permit can pass the border, as can anyone who is the legally identified spouse or partner of a Spanish national. Those whose work needs them to travel into the country are authorised to do so (diplomats, flight attendants and goods transporters, for example), and entry is granted for family emergencies or altruistic reasons. The rules which came into power on June 8, will subject travellers to 14-days of self-isolation on their entry to Britain.
When will regular travel start again?
Even though Spain will be public to international guests from July 1, Britons may not be gathering there that early. The UK Foreign Office still warns against all but essential travel, and it is not clear what our quarantine procedures will look like by then.
When will the hotels reopen?
Instructions and tips for preventing the spread of Covid-19 are detailed in a list of guides. They cover hotels and tourist apartments; restaurants; travel companies; golf courses; rural service; spas; museums; tourist guides; information services; hostels; camping sites; and active tourism.
The new safety guides issued by Spain’s secretary of state include specific guidance for hotels regarding service, cleaning and disinfection, maintenance and risk management.
Spain is also preparing to test the world’s first health passport flight for holidaymakers. All passengers on board the pioneering flight to the Canaries, departing in July, will carry a digital health passport. The passport is a mobile app that reserves medical health records verified by government health departments.
When can I go to the beach?
Beach administration plans to set up police controls to guarantee that sunbathers stay two metres apart. Local officials also plan to expand a team of 25 beach attendants who will remind visitors of social distancing controls.
What is the Foreign Office advice?
Its direction for Spain reads: “Only Spanish citizens or those who can prove residency in Spain by giving a green residency certificate, are allowed to enter Spain through airports, ports or land borders. British travellers who are not resident should not try to enter the country.”
As there are still government limitations in place, your insurance would be invalidated should you decide to travel.