Imported Covid-19 Cases: Spain’s Biggest Fear as it Opens Borders to Tourists from Outside EU Next Week

Imported Covid-19 cases are a huge concern, confirmed Spain's Director of Health Alerts and Emergencies, Fernando Simon. CREDIT: Salud Pública Twitter @SaludPublicaEs

One of Spain’s biggest fears right now is ‘imported Covid-19 cases,’ particularly as the country will open its borders to tourists from outside the EU next week.

SPAIN has already opened its borders to EU members and Schengen zone countries, and restrictions for tourists outside the EU will be relaxed from July 1. “The biggest challenge for Spain is how to contain imported cases,” admitted Fernando Simón, Director of the Health Ministry’s Coordination Centre for Health Alerts.

“It would be logistically challenging to test all tourists who arrive to the country, as well as not very useful, as they could develop the disease here after their arrival,” he pointed out. However, on a positive note, he believes that “Spain is actually better prepared should there be a second wave of the pandemic. Despite the recent outbreaks, it is difficult for the speed of transmission to go back to where it was before. Thanks to better detection capacity and an improved understanding of how the virus behaves, we are more prepared,” he explained. Cases can now be detected “24 to 48 hours after symptoms begin” he pointed out, compared to “10-15 days” when the pandemic began. “Although I can’t say it won’t happen again, it will definitely be more difficult next time,” he maintained.

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That said, it is also “unlikely that the virus will be completely eradicated from Spain any time soon.” However, he said the “country was on a positive path.” But some regional governments, like Madrid, want the government to impose stricter controls on travellers coming from high-risk coronavirus countries to help contain imported Covid-19 cases, as reported. 


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