Spain’s Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, has ordered a new travel ban that restricts British tourists from holidaying in Spain until the end of summer, when the majority of the population has been vaccinated.
The Prime Minister while speaking at the 113th meeting of the Executive Council of the World Tourism Organization which held in Madrid yesterday said that the normality every citizens and industry desires would only come after mass vaccination.
“Once 70 per cent of Spain’s population had been vaccinated”, Mr Sanchez said the country would “progressively” prepare to welcome international tourists.
The news comes as another hard blow to Spain’s tourism sector, which has been hit hard by the pandemic.
Spain’s tourism sector last year reported losses of €106bn due to coronavirus, with Barcelona, Costa del Sol and Costa Blanca hit the hardest.
With coronavirus cases continuing to rise in the UK, a date extension might be up the government’s sleeve.
The Spanish government disclosed that the ban was due to “some uncertainties over the reach of the new strain”, thereby stressing on the need to protect its citizens first.
Spain has not closed their borders altogether with Spanish residents still able to return from the UK.
However, new travel restrictions require a negative coronavirus test on arrival to Spain, as well as one to enter the UK along with a mandatory quarantine.
Wednesday’s report of cases in Spain showed the pandemic was on an upward trajectory with a total of 2,412,318 coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic, according to Spanish news outlet El Pais.
While the occupancy rate in hospitals and intensive care units have reportedly worsened as Covid-19 patients now occupy nearly 20 per cent of hospital beds and more than 35 percent of ICUs.