Spain will open its borders to international tourists from July, the prime minister has announced.
In a televised speech setting out further details of his country’s lockdown exit plan, Pedro Sanchez said: ‘From now, foreign tourists can plan their holidays in our country.’
He added: ‘Spain needs tourism, and tourism needs safety in both origin and destination. We will guarantee that tourists will not run any risks and they will not bring us any risks.
‘There will be no opposing forces between health and business. Spanish tourism will now have two hallmarks: environmental sustainability and health safety.’
He did not spell out what kind of special measures visitors could expect to navigate but said his government has been drawing up plans to welcome them back for weeks.
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The move makes Spain, which receives more than 80 million visitors a year, the second major European country to announce a resumption of tourism after Italy.
The Italian authorities have said that anyone from the EU and partner European countries such as the UK, Switzerland and Iceland will be able to enter from June 3.
So far no restrictions have been announced on where people can go once they arrive in Italy, although somes types of businesses and attractions are likely to remain shuttered.
The measures do not mean Brits can plan a straightforward holiday abroad just yet.
As it stands, from June 8 anyone arriving into the UK will be legally required to self-isolate for 14 days, even if they have only left to take holidays permitted in Italy or Spain.
However, France and the UK have agreed to mutually exempt each other from quarantine requirements, making trips over the channel more viable.
There is expected to be a similar exception for trips between the UK and the Republic of Ireland.
The Foreign Office is still advising against all non-essential travel to other countries, which makes it difficult to secure travel insurance and means airlines are less likely to resume transport.
This advice does not affect travel between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
This week The Telegraph revealed plans for a ‘trial holiday’ experiment in the Canary Islands, organised by the UN’s World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) to test track-and-trace technology and social distancing rules for tourists.
Mr Sanchez also encouraged his own citizens to start planning staycations, and announced the return of Spanish football league games from June 8.
A 10-day period of national mourning for the country’s coronavirus victims, who officially number almost 29,000, begins on Thursday.
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