Published On: Tue, May 26th, 2020

Travel: Spain calls for EU-wide border travel rules to help restore tourism | World | News

These rules could involve health checks for passengers across all 26 countries in the Schengen zone. Spain is eager to resume free travel, or something close to it, as soon as possible due to tourism being a vital source of revenue for the country.

On Monday, the Spanish government announced that it would no longer require foreign visitors to undergo a 14-day quarantine after July 1, which could be seen as a key step in resuming tourism.

The BBC reports that Spain’s tourism industry usually attracts around 80 million visitors a year and provides over 12 percent of the country’s GDP.

But even if Spain does relax its own restrictions for foreign visitors, tourists may still have to face a mandatory quarantine when returning to their home country, such as the UK.

Spain’s call for an EU-wide plan regarding borders would overcome this particular issue.


Spain is pushing for EU-wide border travel rules (Image: Getty)

A document submitted by Spain to a consultation process between EU states said that defining a “safe and operational” system of travel would be key to restoring tourism, Reuters said.

The country also said it would seek the maximum amount in grants from EU coronavirus funds amid its contracting economy.

It is unclear how easy it will be for all 26 Schengen Area nations to agree on set rules, but Germany has already taken steps to lift its border quarantine measures.

The country announced last week that all EU nationals, including UK citizens, will be exempt from a mandatory two-week quarantine upon entering Germany, according to Schengen Visa Info.

READ MORE: Spain holidays: UK government issues major update as hotels reopen

European Union

Spain has made a call for Europe to unite in its approach to Covid-19 border measures. (Image: Dan Kitwood / Getty)

However, any visitors from outside the European Economic Area will still be required to quarantine.

Spain has recorded 283,339 total confirmed cases of Covid-19, with 27,117 deaths and 196,958 recoveries, according to Worldometer.

The country said it would enter a 10-day mourning period starting from Wednesday to pay tribute those who have died from the virus.

As part of this mourning period, flags will be flown at half-mast on over 14,000 public buildings across the country, Time magazine said.

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German chancellor Angela Merkel – Germany has already said EU states will be exept from its border quarantine measures. (Image: Omer Messinger / Pool / Getty)

Meanwhile, as Spain plans to lift its border quarantine measures, the UK is still yet to implement its own ones.

The government has said that a mandatory 14-day quarantine will be imposed on all visitors to the UK from June 8 onwards.

The way this will work is that all arriving passengers will have to fill in a form to provide contact and travel information, as well as details of where they plan to self-isolate.

They will then be required to self-isolate for 14 days, and anyone found not doing do will face a £1,000 penalty, at least in England. Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland will set out their own measures.

Spain is planning to lifts its lockdown measures

Spain is planning to lifts its lockdown measures (Image: GETTY)

The government said that “public health authorities” will be conducting random checks in England to make sure people are complying with the rules, but government website does not state how these checks will be carried out.

However, Metropolitan Police Federation chairman Ken Marsh told BBC Radio 5 Live earlier in May that enforcing the measures on “tens of thousands” of visitors to the UK would be “nigh-on impossible to police,” the Independent has reported.


The UK has yet to implement its own border quarantine measures, which it intends to do on June 8. (Image: Tolga Akmen / Getty)

Exemptions to certain countries – which are deems to have low transmission rates – are currently being considered.

Professor John Aston, Home Office Chief Scientific Adviser, said; “We have been successful in getting the reproduction number R – the average number of new people infected by one infected person – below 1.

“As the number of infections within the UK drops, we must now manage the risk of transmissions being introduced from elsewhere.”

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