In Spain, confusion over date for reopening land borders
Spain will reopen its land borders with France and Portugal on July 1, the tourism ministry said Thursday, reversing an earlier statement by the minister suggesting it would be earlier.
pain will reopen its land borders with France and Portugal on July 1, the tourism ministry said Thursday, reversing an earlier statement by the minister suggesting it would be earlier.
The clarification was issued after Tourism Minister Reyes Maroto told a foreign press briefing that the restrictions on cross-border movement with France and Portugal would be lifted on June 22.
“We are maintaining the date of July 1 for the resumption of international mobility and the reopening of international tourism,” a spokeswoman told AFP after Lisbon expressed surprise and asked for clarification.
In a statement, the ministry said internal mobility within Spain would be permitted once a national state of alert ended on June 21, while the country would reopen its borders to international visitors “from July 1”.
“We were surprised by (Maroto’s) declarations,” Portuguese Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva told national news agency Lusa.
“It is, of course, Portugal which decides on the reopening of the Portuguese border and Portugal wants to do this in a coordinated manner” with Spain, he said.
“Unfortunately, declarations by Spanish government ministers follow one after the other and are not closely coordinated.”
pain closed its borders with France and Portugal on March 17, three days after imposing a nationwide lockdown — one of Europe’s strictest — to battle the virus which has infected more than 240,000 people and killed more than 27,000.
ince May 15, almost all international arrivals to Spain have had to self-isolate for two weeks to prevent a resurgence of the epidemic in a measure set to remain place until July 1.
In her earlier remarks, Maroto also said that “in principle”, the compulsory 14-day quarantine requirement “will also be dropped” for cross-border arrivals from June 22.
And officials were also looking into bringing forward the date for those arriving by air or sea.
“Right now, given the improvement in the epidemic in Spain, there is a debate under way about whether we could bring forward the date for lifting this quarantine requirement,” she said.
“If the conditions are right to lift the requirement before July 1, we will.”
The announcement came a day after Spanish lawmakers voted to extend the state of emergency a final time to June 21.
It was the sixth time the measure has been renewed, although with the epidemic well in hand, associated restrictions have been significantly eased over time.
Maroto said 6,000 German tourists would be able to travel to Spain’s Balearic Islands “in the second half of June” within the context of a pilot project between the archipelago’s regional government and the German tour operator TUI.