After the uproar generated beyond Spanish borders, the Sánchez government is preparing to make amends. The executive already has on its table a plan to lift the quarantine it imposed less than two weeks ago on travellers arriving from outside Spain. The foreign minister, Arancha González Laya, has already set a date: July 1st. The measure was addressed this Monday in a broad inter-ministerial committee meeting studying "the imminent reactivation of the powerful tourism sector." All this comes just 24 hours after French cabinet minister Élisabeth Borne recommended that people should avoid making plans to holiday in Spain - due to the "contradictory" decisions of the Sánchez government.
But now, according to Spain's González Laya, "the most difficult part is behind us" and "from July we will gradually reactivate international tourism".
Lo más difícil ha quedado atrás. Desde julio reactivamos gradualmente el turismo internacional, levantamos la cuarentena y aseguramos condiciones de seguridad sanitaria— Arancha González (@AranchaGlezLaya) May 25, 2020
Prepárate 🧳🕶👙#sanidad #seguridad #sostenibilidad@MAECgob @desdelamoncloa @mincoturgob @turspain
"Get ready!" said the foreign minister, as she tweeted to announce plans to lift the 14 day quarantine, imposed less than 14 days ago.
According to the executive, the inter-ministerial committee which met today "addressed, among other subjects, issues such as the future lifting of the quarantine for visitors from other countries, in accordance with the evolution of the pandemic, and measures that will allow the sector to organize its summer season and guarantee the holidays of millions of people in Spain".
The internet meeting was attended by Spanish deputy PMs Teresa Ribera and Nadia Calviño, interior minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska, transport minister José Luis Ábalos, health minister Salvador Illa, industry and tourism minister Reyes Maroto, as well as González Laya.
Two weeks of quarantine
Since May 15th, everyone arriving in Spain, whether a Spanish citizen or a foreign visitor, has been obliged to self-quarantine for 14 days, either at home or in other accommodation, to control possible coronavirus symptoms and prevent contagion, only able to go outside to buy basic essentials. This measure, subject to the duration of Spain's state of alarm, is now likely to be lifted.
However, as well provoking anger in the tourist and travel industries, the mixed messages from Spain led the French minister for ecological transition, Élisabeth Borne, to comment that she did not recommend travel abroad to her compatriots this summer, particularly mentioning Spain for its "contradictory" measures on coronavirus.
In a interview with broadcaster France Inter (link in French), Borne said she "could not recommend that French people book a holiday in Spain at present. Spain has chosen to open its borders, but at the same time it has set rules on people arriving by plane. It is contradictory."