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Spain will be testing the waters for the return to international tourism next week when some 6,000 visitors from Germany will be allowed to travel to the Balearic Islands without having to observe the 14-day quarantine rule. As the country brings the coronavirus under control domestically, the next big danger is the infection being imported from abroad as borders are re-opened as expected on July 1st. In the past month, 104 cases have been detected by people entering the country on the exception rule (workers, residents returning to their homes and emergency situations), most from Latin America and the USA.

Thus, Order SND/518/2020, published today in BOE-A-2020-6024, has formally authorised a pilot programme to open safe tourist corridors to the popular archipelago so that the Spanish Government can verify its effectiveness as a model for lifting temporary controls on entering the country so that possible cases of COVID-19 can be identified and isolated with a much lower number of tourists than can expected later in the season.

The Balearic Islands have been selected as one of the first regions to re-open to international tourism due to positive evolution of the health situation. In addition, the whole archipelago is in Phase III of the Transition Plan, another condition of opening air corridors, whilst both state of origin and the Balearics must have comparably low infection rates over the previous consecutive seven days. Arrivals will need to fill out a health form which will need to be presented to the authorities who will also take their temperature (which should be below 37.5°c). If they show no coronavirus symptoms, they will be allowed to leave the airport and enjoy their Mediterranean holiday without having to observe the 14-day quarantine requirement. Arrivals will also need to provide contact information, including accommodation address, and this requirement will be rolled out to other airports across Spain when the country as a whole begins to welcome back international tourists.

The health minister Salvador Illa confirmed that other regions in the country would be welcome to launch their own pilot programme if they consider it appropriate. However the overall plan is for travel restriction to be officially lifted on July 1st, despite the EU recommending that all members states open their borders for internal travel on Monday 15th June; Germany, France and Belgium will be doing so.

Click here to read the whole transcript of Order SND/518/2020.

Source: SND/518/2020, published BOE-A-2020-6024
Date: Friday 11th June 2020





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