Updated May 26th, with suggestions British travelers will be welcomed in July…
For weeks, Spain was rumored to be considering a longer outlook on the return of tourism, with one minister quoting end of 2020, at the earliest. In a televised address, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez put those rumors to bed, stating foreign travel is not only welcomed, but planning trip is actually strongly encouraged. All in all, it’s fantastic news – but not without the need for a FAQ section….
I’m announcing to you that there will be a tourist season this year and I invite all tourist establishments to start to prepare from today to restart their activity in a few days from now.
Spain is one of the hottest travel destinations on the planet, with draws including Ibiza, Madrid, Barcelona and Balearic Islands drawing upwards of 80 million visitors annually. These tourism visitors represent more than 10% of Spain’s economy, and believing that the country has taken the necessary measures to ensure safety nets and reopen, travelers are now being encouraged to plan trips.
According to El Pais, Spanish Prime Minister Sanchez went as far as to state…
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.”
So when does the responsibly socially distanced tapas party kick off?
Prime Minister Sanchez states overseas travel to Spain is permissible from July 1st, 2020 onward, in line with news from Greece. Like many presidential statements around the world these days however, specific guidelines for which countries or regions would be permitted, and more importantly – which would not – have not been announced.
Will this include all Europeans, UK citizens, those based in North America and beyond – or does overseas mainly mean a trip across the Iberian peninsula. In recent statements, a Spanish tourism minister encouraged Brits to plan trips from July 1st, stating 14 day quarantine measures were almost assuredly going to be relaxed by that point.
The address seems to indicate broader tourism, with more of a focus on safety restrictions such as testing and distancing regardless of origin, than a strict list of passports or locales eligible for entry.
Until more details of the “who” and “how” are known, it’s going to be difficult for travelers to go forward with entering their credit card details. In the meantime, as if you need you need another reason to want to visit, La Liga, Spain’s top division of “futbol” returns to action from early June, and should be in full swing by July. You may not be able to watch from the stands, but you’ll feel closer to the game than ever, particularly if a tapas bar is open…