Spain coronavirus travel warning: Hotels could stay closed until END OF YEAR
Minister of Labour, Yolanda Díaz, revealed the lifting of lockdown rules will be spread across two periods, but warned the holiday industry will not be a top priority. Spain is in the midst of a State of Emergency, which will run until at least April 26 and is likely to be extended for a further two weeks until May 10. No date has so far been for a partial lifting of restrictions, but Ms Diaz confirmed the process of reopening businesses in different sectors will be “gradual”.
She said: “We are working on two phases for de-escalation, one for the summer and another for the end of the year.”
The first of these will be in June and cover the productive sectors.
The second will last until the end of the year and affect the tourism, culture and leisure sectors in particular.
It will also affect air and maritime navigation, which has been severely restricted with a number of airlines grounding flights in and out of the country and leaving airports deserted.
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Ms Diaz admitted these sectors will have “enormous difficulties” in resuming operations, so a number of measures are currently being looked at to help them.
Last week, the Spanish government began to allow some non-essential workers to return to work as coronavirus lockdown measures were partially eased.
But bar and restaurants in the Costa del Sol have pleaded with the Government to lift restrictions on when they can open, as well as rules around the size of terraces and the relaxation of self-distancing.
Nightclubs in popular holiday hotspots throughout the country are also urging the Government to look at how they could operate if punters have to remain two metres apart.
One businessman told Malaga newspaper Sur.es: “No one is going to go to a disco to dance alone or to spend midnight without being able to get close to anyone.”
Juan Rambla, Vice President of the Andalusian Federation of Clubs and Party Rooms, said: “I prefer not to think about the losses that we are going to suffer.”
Earlier this month, European commission President Ursula von der Leyen warned people against making any summer holiday plans in the continent because of the ongoing uncertainty around when coronavirus restrictions might be lifted in different countries.
When Brits are eventually allowed to holiday in Spain again, they will likely be advised to wear masks when out in public.
They will have their temperature taken when arriving at airports and ports as coronavirus checks continue.
Tourism leaders have also warned holidaymakers will have to sunbathe six feet apart on usually packed beaches – even after the end of the coronavirus crisis.
Spain’s death toll from the coronavirus outbreak is nearing 21,000 and has the third highest number of fatalities from COVID-189 behind the USA and Italy.
On Monday, health officials confirmed a further 399 people had died from coronavirus over a 24-hour period.
But this is significantly down from a week ago when this figure was close to 1,000.
Despite coronavirus infecting more than 200,000 people in the country so far, health officials insisted the spread of the disease is slowing.
Health Emergency Chief Fernando Simon told a news conference on Monday the rate of new infections is continuing to fall.
Additional reporting by Rita Sobot.
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