EXECUTIVE sources recognise that they are deliberating the possibility of barring international tourism for the summer. They are even considering restricting transport and controlling capacity levels within the national tourism sector.
The government is now working towards a plan which contemplates no foreign tourism coming into Spain over the summer, with the possibility of closing borders. However, they are also considering strict measures in regards to national mobility, the compulsory use of masks on public transport and the enforcement of maintaining the safety distance established by heath authorities.
In this scenario the closure, or partial closure, of borders would be the greatest impact on Spain’s national economy, as this would inhibit the flow of international tourism it is so accustomed to and reliant upon each year.
However, this measure would also mean that Spanish residents could not leave the national territory, unless a specific health certificate recommends it. However, this measure would, of course, be subject to exceptions.
The government plans to call this new step in the coronavirus crisis “the return to normality”. However, in this “return to normality,” which could occur from April 26 in certain “non-essential” jobs, will not be normal in all its dimensions.
The Minister of Industry, Tourism and Commerce, Reyes Maroto, said that they are considering various scenarios in which to “gradually” and “progressively” recover the tourism sector, which currently makes up 12 per cent of Spain’s GDP. She recognised that the first area of tourism Spain would work to recover is national tourism.
ABC reports that travel within the country will be limited. Public transport, train, and coach trips will all have very restrictive sanitary measures: 30 per cent of all tickets will not be for sale and this number could increase.
The idea for these measures is to reduce agglomerations and crowds in certain areas. The question on many Spaniard’s minds is, can they go to the beach in the summer? This idea has not been shut off completely, but the limited space on some beaches would make it difficult to respect these boundaries and safety distances
Part of the Executive’s plan also includes reinforcing national tourism, such as fomenting the rental of rural villas in the interior of the country and travelling in private vehicles or controlled transport to reduce the risk of infection.
The government’s main priority is to assure that this summer season is a “safe one.” They also prepare for the scenario that once European countries lower their border regulations, not as many people will want to come to Spain as it was one of the epicentres of the coronavirus in Europe.