OVER A THOUSAND SPANISH NATIONALS HAVE BEEN FLOWN HOME FROM ABROAD AND DELIVERED BACK TO THEIR FAMILIES IN MALAGA, MADRID AND VALENCIA.
Approximately a thousand Spanish tourists have managed to return to Spain in the last hours. And between now and the weekend another 5,000 will return, according to the figures obtained from the Foreign Minister, Arancha González Laya.
Since obstacles to external displacement were introduced, the efforts of this department have led to the repatriation of 11,000 people, although there are groups in remote places waiting for a solution. “We want to contribute in this way so that no Spanish are left behind,” said the head of diplomacy at a video press conference from the Palacio de la Moncloa in Madrid.
The largest number of Spaniards trapped are concentrated in Latin America. A total of 11 ‘mercy’ flights have been arranged to repatriate Spanish nationals from the region.
Just over 400 people waiting in Peru and in the Dominican Republic have already managed to leave, there is also a ferry travelling from Civitavecchia, Rome that has 200 tourists on board which is scheduled to disembark in Barcelona in the next few hours.
On Tuesday the government lifted the ban imposed on direct flights with Italy, this will pave the way for some 900 Spaniards stranded in that country to return to Spain.
Ministers amended the ban that it imposed on air connections between Spain and Italy to facilitate these movements of Spaniards. The blockade had been adopted on March 10 to curb contacts with Italy, the European country with the highest number of infections by coronavirus at this time.
The Foreign Office in Spain explains in a statement that the change in criteria is intended to facilitate the return of tourists. Despite everything, the trips will be made ‘with the prior authorisation of the Ministry of Health’ and only to transfer Spanish citizens or those registered as residents in Spain (it does not affect, for example, permanent residents in Italy).
At least another 5,000 travellers are expected to return to Spain within the next week, after that the government may have to enforce the ban again.
The airports enabled for these returns are Madrid, Barcelona, Las Palmas de Gran Canarias, Malaga and Palma de Mallorca.