International tourism to restart in July

Spanish president Pedro Sánchez assures there will be a holiday season this summer and quarantine on visitors will be lifted on July 1

Some tourists sunbathing in Lloret de Mar in May 2019 (by Aleix Freixas)
Some tourists sunbathing in Lloret de Mar in May 2019 (by Aleix Freixas) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

May 23, 2020 03:34 PM

International tourism can begin again in Spain from July, Pedro Sánchez announced in a press briefing on Saturday afternoon. 

On Monday, his government announced that visitors from abroad will be able to enter Spain without a quarantine from July 1 - on May 12, Madrid imposed a two-week compulsory confinement for everyone entering its borders to be in effect until the end of the state of alarm. 

On Saturday, the Spanish president told hoteliers they can begin planning for a return to business and activity already, with an eye on receiving international visitors this summer. 

Tourist accommodation businesses are able to reopen at full capacity in any health region in Phase 1 or later, which all of Spain will be from Monday. However, there are still restrictions on common areas in tourist accommodation, such as lobbies. Currently, people cannot travel between different health regions. 

“We will take advantage of the great advantages our country has in relation to tourism,” the Socialist figurehead said. 

“The Spanish government has been working on safety protocols for the tourism and accommodation sector,” Sánchez explained to reporters. “I encourage all Spaniards to start planning their holidays already.” 

The Spanish president’s message for hoteliers was that they could already begin planning a return to activity “in the next few days.” 

Professional football to return

Sánchez also announced that the La Liga professional football league can return the week of June 8

The Spanish league, directed by Javier Tebas, had been planning a return to competition on June 12 with a Seville derby, but this was under the condition of government rules permitting a return. 

Teams have already returned to training and have undergone Covid-19 tests according to the league protocol to ease back to competition.

Currently, FC Barcelona sit top of the La Liga table, two points above Real Madrid in the standings. Espanyol are bottom and facing the threat of relegation, but have eleven games to bridge the 6-point gap that separates them from safety. 

With Sánchez’s announcement on Saturday, the league is expected to soon confirm what date action will return.

The Spanish president also began his press conference declaring "the hardest part is behind us. We're looking toward the end of the tunnel."

However he was also quick to remind people that while the country is coming out of lockdown, "there is still a public health emergency" and said "until there's a vaccine, victory will depend on each of us." 

Despite this, the Socialist leader celebrated that people could see friends and family again in the same health region from Monday.