SPAIN’S Prime Minister has warned that international tourists won’t be allowed to travel to Spain until ‘the end of summer’.
Speaking in Madrid, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said he wants to vaccinate the majority of the population before opening the country back up to international visitors.
He confirmed that Spain would ‘progressively’ prepare to welcome back international tourists once 70% of the population is vaccinated, which he expects will happen by the end of the 2021 summer season.
Sanchez said warned that the mass vaccination would ‘open the way to the normality we want’.
He said: “The Government works to vaccinate at the highest possible rate – and in fact Spain is the ninth country in the world in vaccination and one of the first in Europe – to reach the end of summer with 70% of people immunized.”
The warning comes after Spain’s tourism sector reported losses of € 106bn due to Covid-19 last year, with Barcelona, Costa del Sol and Costa Blanca hit the hardest.
Joan Caylá, member of the Spanish Society of Epidemiology, slammed Sanchez’s travel ban, adding that the country’s economy couldn’t survive without international vistitors.
He said: “We must achieve group immunity for the month of June because we are interested in having a summer with more standardized vacations and that international travelers can arrive. If the tourists do not arrive this summer, Spain may already go bankrupt. “
It comes after the Spanish government initially extended the UK flight ban to next month and said in a statement that they had extended again due to “some uncertainties over the reach of the new strain”.
They added: “The epidemiological situation in the United Kingdom has progressively worsened.”
Currently only nationals and residents with negative PCR tests are able to enter Spain.