Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced that foreign tourists will be allowed to enter the country starting in July.
It came as welcome news for his country’s battered tourism industry which makes up 12 per cent of Spain’s GDP.
“As you know, Spain receives more than 80 million visitors a year. I am announcing that from July, Spain will reopen for foreign tourism in conditions of safety. Foreign tourists can also start planning their holidays in our country. Spain needs tourism, and tourism needs safety in both origin and destination. We will guarantee that tourists will not run any risks, nor will they bring any risk to our country,” Sanchez said.
“The hardest part is over. We are seeing light at the end of the tunnel,” said Sánchez, adding that “the response of the Spanish people has been formidable.”
However, for anyone arriving in Spain, the currently imposed two-week quarantine has been criticized for hampering the tourism sector.
“We will guarantee that tourists will not run any risks and they will not bring us any risks,” Sánchez said.
The Spanish football league will also resume business, starting behind closed doors from June 8. In July it may open to the public if conditions allow.
Meanwhile, far-right demonstrators who support the Vox party took to the streets of Madrid to protest lockdown restrictions.
Several thousand people gathered Saturday in their cars and on motorbikes in the city center.
“I’m here to ask this government to end it because they are leading us to ruin. As a worker I think they are managing things very badly. Sanchez go home,” one demonstrator said.
It comes after Spain’s parliament allowed Sanchez to extend the state of emergency by 14 days, giving him the authority to restrict people’s movements.
To date, 28,628 people in Spain have died of coronavirus and 234,824 have been infected. The health crisis has also made socioeconomic problems worse. Unemployment rose by 300,000 in March and almost 283,000 in April.