Spain on Sunday ended a national state of emergency after three months of lockdown, allowing its 47 million residents to freely travel around the country for the first time since March 14. Spain also dropped a 14-day quarantine for visitors from Britain and countries in Europe’s visa-free Schengen travel zone to boost its vital tourism sector.
The quarantine rule still applies to non-Schengen countries with the exception of the UK.
Spain’s border with neighbouring Portugal will reopen on July 1 at Lisbon’s request.
British tourists will be allowed in without having to quarantine, Spain said on Saturday, even though they will still be subject to 14 days isolation upon their return.
Spaniards and travelers will be obligated to wear face masks both indoors and outside when in public spaces where it is impossible to guarantee a distance of 1.5 metres from others. Regional governments are now in complete charge of putting limits on attendance in public places, from theatres, to weddings, to classrooms.
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez urged people to exercise maximum public health precautions, saying that even though Europe is stabilizing, the virus is running rampant on other continents.
Spain’s lockdown succeeded in stopping the uncontrolled spread of the coronavirus, which authorities say has claimed at least 28,000 lives in the country.
Travelers arriving in Spain can expect to have their temperature taken at the airport, state if they have had the virus and provide contact details.
More than 80 million tourists visited Spain last year, making it one of the world’s most popular travel destinations.
Tourism provides more than 12% of the country’s GDP.
Opening up the holiday market again before the summer season is over is seen as crucial to the Spanish economy.