Portugal and France are welcome as Spain corrects decision to open land borders
“In the case of France and Portugal, I want to confirm that the restrictions on land borders will be lifted from June 22,” Maroto said at a press conference to foreign correspondents.
Two hours later, however, the central government published a press release indicating that “safe international movement will take place from July 1,” as was previously announced by Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez.
Borders were closed to everybody except nationals, cross-border workers and truck drivers from mid-March when the country went into lockdown.
The state of alarm which was extended by the Congress of Deputies on Wednesday for the sixth and final time is now set until June 22.
The minister explained that the decision to lift quarantine measures would be made on the principle of reciprocity and according to the contagion rate in respective countries. The Spanish Foreign Affairs Ministry has been a strong defender of the quarantine, which has principally affected Spaniards who have returned to the country from abroad.
Maroto provided more details of this plan on Thursday, saying they were working on experimenting with tourism to certain regions in the second half of June, and tour operator TUI was due to bring 6,000 German tourists to visit the Balearic archipelago around the island of Mallorca.
France has already said it was in favour of Europe opening its internal borders from June 15.
Portugal officially closed the border until June 15 but the government had previously said it assumed it would remain closed until the end of the month because of Spain’s own restrictions.
Spain’s tourism industry, which accounts for more than 12% of Spain’s gross domestic product (GDP), has been devastated since the lockdown began