Government seeks to save tourism by asking EU to look at data by community

Mapa coronavirus 2 de Septiembre

Foreign Affairs is already working with several countries that send tourists to Spain to enable them to travel to places less affected by COVID-19

Pedro Sánchez's government is trying to keep the door open to European tourism, at least to those places with the lowest incidence of COVID-19, by trying to get the European Commission to make recommendations based not only on the overall figures for infections in each country, but also on regional data and other figures, such as hospitalisations and tests.

According to the minister spokesperson, María Jesús Montero, at the press conference following the Council of Ministers, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Arancha González Laya, is taking steps to ensure that there are European recommendations with disaggregated data that better reflects the situation in each country.

Foreign Affairs sources explained that the Ministry is working with the European Commission so that this body can make recommendations on the evolution of the Covid pandemic on which national decisions can then be based.

The government wants these recommendations to be based on regionally disaggregated data and also on data on hospitalisations, ICU admissions and deaths, so that the actual situation in a country is better known. It also wants detailed information on the tests that are carried out in each region.

Allowing travel to less affected places

In parallel, Foreign Affairs is already working with several countries which are tourist senders to Spain so that, once these European recommendations based on disaggregated figures are ready, they will allow trips to the least affected places (mainly the Canary Islands).

Other sources which are familiar with the process explain that the aim is to avoid situations like that of July, when the United Kingdom, the main source of tourists, re-imposed quarantine on travellers from Spain, regardless of where they were travelling from, without taking into account the detailed situation in the Canary and Balearic Islands.

Since then, some European countries such as Germany, Romania, the Czech Republic and Belgium have made a distinction between autonomous communities in the travel restrictions they have imposed during the summer.

At the same time, as it has been doing since the beginning of the pandemic, the government wants to encourage greater European coordination in all areas, something that has proved difficult also with regard to borders.

This very Tuesday the EU has issued a warning to Hungary, which has decided to unilaterally close its borders to all non-Hungarian citizens.