Spain is safe for tourism, says government; UK not convinced
Spain is safe for tourists and Spaniards, the government insisted on Sunday after Britain abruptly imposed a two-week coronavirus quarantine on travellers returning from there, says a Reuters report.
Last year, Britons made up over a fifth of foreign visitors to Spain, which relies heavily on tourism revenues, meaning the UK move could deal a hard blow to efforts to restart the Mediterranean country’s economy after months of lockdown.
“Spain is safe, it is safe for Spaniards, it is safe for tourists,” Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya told reporters.
The Spanish government will focus its efforts on trying to persuade Britain to exclude the Balearic and Canary islands from the quarantine measure, she said, adding that the prevalence of the virus in those popular travel destinations was much lower than in the United Kingdom.
Spain has seen COVID-19 cases rise in the last few weeks, and Britain announced late on Saturday it was taking the country off a safe-travel list. The quarantine took effect hours later.
The measure upset the plans of many people either on holiday or planning to take one and caused more disruption for airlines and tour companies, the Reuters report says.
Britain has also advised against all but essential travel to mainland Spain, leaving the islands out of the advice but including them in the quarantine measure.
TUI UK, part of the TUI, holiday company, said it would cancel all holidays to mainland Spain up to Aug. 9, while maintaining flights to the Balearic and Canary islands.