Spain holidays are hugely popular with British tourists, but trips to the Mediterranean country could look quite different after the coronavirus pandemic has passed. Tourism bosses in Spain have said visits to the beach could be heavily impacted by post-coronavirus rules. Strict restrictions put in place will mean holidaymakers will have to keep their distance when sun-worshipping.
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In fact, beach-goers may have to sunbathe 6ft apart as Spain strives to recover from coronavirus.
Currently, all beaches in Spain are closed to everyone.
This restriction is set to last into May at the earliest.
However, when tourists can finally return to Spain, life at resorts, hotels and beaches won’t be what it once was, the Spanish Minister of Industry, Trade, and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, has said.
Maroto has predicted that the tourism sector will have a slower exit from the coronavirus crisis than others.
Authorities are currently working on different exit scenarios for the sector amid fears some Spanish hotspots will be severely hit well into 2021.
Maroto said the negative impact on tourism was ”difficult to calculate” as it would depend on how long the pandemic lasts.
There are currently 1,800,791 cases of coronavirus globally.
Spain is the second worst-hit country after the USA, with 166,019 cases of the deadly virus.
“We have to guarantee that the tourist sector has sufficient aid to last longer than other sectors, which will open their shutters sooner,” Maroto said.
Talking to Spanish newspaper El Pais, the Tourism Minister said the government’s plans are to “reposition” Spain as a safe destination from a health point of view and to encourage Spaniards to staycation.
“The stimulation of national tourism will come first, international tourism will cost more,” explained Maroto.
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“We depend on the evolution of the pandemic and we have to guarantee, when international tourism opens, that the person who comes to Spain is a safe person.
“The profitability of the tourism sector will undoubtedly be reduced because we will not have the capacity to mobilise 87 million tourists as at present.”
It is not yet known whether post-coronavirus measures in Spain will see tourists have their temperatures tested at the airport upon arrival in the country.
Maroto added it wasn’t yet decided how social distancing on Spanish beaches would be enforced.
Meanwhile, UK tourists are being urged to stay at home amid lockdown measures.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) currently has in place a travel warning urging Britons to avoid all non-essential travel – this has been extended “indefinitely”.
The FCO states “As countries respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, including travel and border restrictions, the FCO advises British nationals against all but essential international travel. Any country or area may restrict travel without notice.
“If you live in the UK and are currently travelling abroad, you are strongly advised to return now, where and while there are still commercial routes available. Many airlines are suspending flights and many airports are closing, preventing flights from leaving.”
Additional reporting by Rita Sobot.
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