Spain has announced it will lift its 14 day quarantine rule for foreign tourists in July.
Minister for the Exterior, Arancha González Laya confirmed the news on social media, stating that the country will gradually reopen to international tourists from July, with no quarantine in place.
Can foreign tourists travel to Spain?
Spain’s tourism minister confirmed that foreign tourists can book holidays in the country from 1 July, with the mandatory two week self-quarantine for overseas visitors expected to be suspended by then.
Many of Spain’s beaches were officially reopened to the public on 25 May, as regions that have entered phase two of the government’s de-escalation plan are now allowed to welcome sunbathers and swimmers.
Beach bars were also allowed to open from 25 May, with strict social distancing and cleaning measures. However, some of the most popular beach areas across the country still remain closed.
Areas not included in phase two, including Barcelona and Madrid, will have to wait at least another week before they are allowed to reopen their beaches. It is estimated that around half of Spain is still in phase one.
Are UK residents allowed to travel to Spain?
The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is currently advising against all but essential international travel.
The gradual lifting of borders in Europe has now been proposed by the EU’s executive in an effort to restart the tourist industry, with economic affairs commissioner Paolo Gentiloni stating that the EU “will have a tourist season this summer, even if it’s with security measures and limitations”.
Some EU countries are starting to reopen their borders, with Austria and Germany the latest to agree to remove travel restrictions.
Since 15 May, random checks at border crossings have been in place, but free movement should resume from 15 June.
However, Home Secretary Priti Patel announced on 22 May that anyone reaching the UK from 8 June will have to self-isolate for 14 days, or risk a fine of £1,000.
The new rules will apply to returning holidaymakers.
What safety measures will be in place in Spain?
The Ministry of Health has issued guidance on maintaining social distancing and keeping apart when in the water, recommending umbrellas should be at least 12 feet apart.
Many councils have also taken their own measures to try and minimise the risk of coronavirus spread, including roping off "squares" for sunbathers, using ropes, bollards, tape or marks in the sand.
Others have planted hundreds of umbrellas in the sand to signal social distancing, and some beaches have introduced appointment systems or time limits.
Local authorities have also made use of phone apps and ‘traffic light’ signals to help control the crowds, by letting people know if beaches are full and directing them elsewhere.
Electronic screens with real-time updates have also been implemented at some beaches, with information being provided by drones.