Spain has appeared to contradict its policy on whether British visitors will have to quarantine on arrival in the country, leaving potential travellers confused over the rules.
Spanish officials had said that the need to quarantine would be dropped for all travellers from within the EU when Spain opens up its borders next Sunday.
But late on Monday, Spain’s foreign minister insisted that “reciprocity” was an issue and that Spain may have to impose a two-week quarantine on travellers from the UK in response to the UK government’s quarantine requirement.
Foreign Minister Arancha González Laya told the BBC’s HARDtalk programme: “We will be checking what the UK will be doing and we will be in dialogue with the UK to see whether or not we should be introducing reciprocity as they have different measures than the rest of the EU.”
But even with travellers poised to arrive from Sunday, the policy did not seem to be set in stone.
She described the situation as “fluid” and said officials would like to “properly engage in a dialogue with the UK authorities to make sure that we both take the message that best corresponds to the health situation, which today is a little bit better in Spain than it is in the UK”.
“Hopefully by the time we open our borders, the UK would have moved forward also,” she said.
On Sunday, Spain had announced that its borders (apart from that with Portugal) would be open and tourists from within the EU and Schengen area would be welcomed from June 21st without the need for quarantine, with the Foreign Minister tweeting the announcement herself:
Earlier in the day, the British Embassy in Madrid had confirmed that indeed British visitors would not be subject to quarantine under plans by Spain to open the country to tourism from June 21st.
Spain had originally proposed July 1st as the date to welcome back international tourists but brought forward the date by ten days in a bid to kickstart the much-needed tourism season and because the evolution of the coronavirus crisis continued to remain under control.
More than 18 million British tourists visited Spain last year, accounting for more than a fifth of the overall total of nearly 84 million visitors, figures from the National Institute of Statistics show.
Published The Local 17 June 2020