The UK authorities have advised all British people staying in Spain to return home before March 24, when the Spanish government plans to close all hotels as part of the emergency measures to counter the spread of coronavirus.
On Wednesday, a statement from the UK’s foreign office warned: “The Spanish government have confirmed that all hotels will close in Spain from Tuesday 24 March. We, therefore, advise British travellers in Spain to contact their tour operator or airline as soon as possible, to arrange their return journey home before this date.”
The newspaper Expansión reported on Wednesday that the Spanish authorities are preparing to order hotels, apartments, campsites, and other short-term tourist accommodation to close next Tuesday.
The only places hosting tourists that would be exempted, claimed the newspaper, are those providing long-term stays in which guests spend an entire season and in which clients have at their disposal all the necessary facilities to cover their basic needs.
However, sources in the Catalan government’s tourism department say that hotels will have to close as soon as Madrid issues the directive, which will be before March 24, but added that tourists will likely be given some leeway to organize their trip home.
Meanwhile, also on Wednesday, budget airline, Ryanair announced that it intends to ground most of its flights from midnight on March 24, with the only exceptions being a small number of flights required to maintain “essential connectivity.”