A SENIOR Spanish government figure has said that people, including British residents in the Costa del Sol and Costa Blanca areas, will need to take extreme care over the coronavirus until at least October.
Environment Minister, Teresa Ribera, who heads the committee responsible for unwinding the State of Alarm lockdown, said that Spain must prepare to live with the virus for a long time.
“Until at least the beginning of October we will have to be very careful,” she said in an interview with newspaper El Pais.
“We don’t know if the virus disappears at high temperatures, or if it has the potential to become a seasonal virus that will re-emerge.”
Ribera added: “We must learn to keep the coronavirus at bay until there is a vaccine.”
Over Spain returning to some kind of normality, the minister said:
“Our optimistic scenario is to see a good situation by the beginning of July, but continuing at all times to be as prudent as far as possible in following health guidelines.”
Health Emergency Chief Fernando Simon echoed her sentiment and warned that containing the virus would depend on all Spaniards sticking to the rules.
“There is a high probability of a new outbreak. We don’t have any guarantees,” he told a daily news conference in Madrid.
The warnings from Ribera and Simon came as people took to the great outdoors for the first time since the State of Alarm was introduced in mid-March.
A heatwave coincided with the relaxation of the lockdown rules, which will allow small businesses like hairdressers to reopen tomorrow (May 4), followed by bars the next week.
Teresa Ribera’s El Pais interview urged people to remain cautious and to follow social isolation protocols.
When asked about when any form of international tourism could return to Spain, Ribera was vague:
“The situation is complicated and there are so many unknowns. You can’t consider a date at the moment, as we don´t want to see coronavirus cases coming into the country.”