UK advises British travelers to return from Spain by March 24

Foreign office statement says Spanish government will close all hotels next Tuesday as part of emergency measures against coronavirus

A hotel in PortAventura (by Roger Segura)
A hotel in PortAventura (by Roger Segura) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

March 18, 2020 08:29 PM

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.

Directive to close empty tourist accommodation

On Thursday, the Spanish authorities issued a directive ordering all hotels, campsites, and other types of tourist accommodation that currently have no guests staying in them to be closed to the public.

The directive, issued under the state of alarm declared last Saturday, gives a maximum period of seven days for the accommodation to be closed, and permits regional authorities to manage the closures as they see fit.

Also this week, 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."