Although the tourism sector has welcomed the Spanish Prime Minister’s announcement yesterday to allow national tourism to start in June and international tourism from July, there are many doubts over how Spain will guarantee Covid-free tourism to holidaymakers, while protecting residents at home.
“WE will not only guarantee that tourists do not run any risk of contagion but we will also ensure that we don’t allow risks to come into the country,” stated Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, yesterday.
However, the tourism sector wants more “clarity” on how safe tourism can be guaranteed “without any contagion risks.” For example, Spanish travel firm Destinia Group’s Managing Director Ricardo Fernández and the Tourism Board’s Secretary-General Carlos Abella have asked the government for “concrete answers” on the safety aspects and recommendations that will to help reactivate the tourism sector.
Some European countries have made ‘health pacts’ between each other regarding travel between countries, which is something that tourism body Exceltur’s Executive Vice President José Luis Zoreda has also requested from the government. Brussels has also asked Spain to coordinate security measures, such as the end of obligatory quarantine measures, with other European countries.
Spain is also already in discussions with the EU, about a potential Europe-wide pact to guarantee restriction-free travel between European countries and Spain (as reported). Sanchez hopes that an agreement will be reached over the coming days.
However, the World Health Organisation (WHO) continues to insist that European countries must exercise caution as restrictions are lifted. It believes that temperature checks at airports are not enough to prove that someone is Covid-19 free, and is therefore recommending that travellers take an obligatory coronavirus test before travel with some kind of certification.
So for now, Spain’s government and the tourism industry have their work cut out to come up with a plan that not only guarantees the safety of incoming tourists from potential Covid-19 contagion while holidaying in Spain, but also protect its residents from any imported cases.