Spain will reopen its borders to foreign tourists from July, the country’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced on Saturday.
“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,” Sanchez said, pledging the safety of both locals and visitors amid the Coronavirus pandemic.
He added that the country “needs tourism, and tourism needs safety in both origin and destination,” as well as that the government had been planing the reopening for weeks.
Although the country is among the European nations worst-hit by the pandemic, the Spanish PM called on the citizens to begin planning domestic holidays, and the businesses to prepare for the reopening.
Sanchez’ move came amid protests by the country’s far-right Vox party, which accused the government of imposing “draconian measures” to contain the pandemic that led to unemployment and “misery”.
The country has been under strict lockdown since March 14, and as of publication, it has recorded more than 282,000 confirmed Covid-19 cases and over 28,000 deaths.
On Monday, lockdown measures in Barcelona and Madrid, the two cities worst-hit by the pandemic, were eased, and the Spanish Tourism Minister Reyes Maroto confirmed that foreign tourists would be allowed to book vacations in the country as of July.
In an interview with local radio station Onda Cero, Maroto said that the government expects the two-week quarantine measure imposed on overseas travellers “will be suspended by that time”.