Beaches full of people after lockdown in Barcelona back in June (Picture: Robert Bonet/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Spain has denied reports its borders could remain closed to tourists this summer and insisted it hopes to welcome holidaymakers as early as the spring.
Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez suggested earlier this week that ‘only mass vaccination will open the way to the normality we want’, indicating that tourism would only restart once 70% of the population had received their jab – something which was not expected to be completed until after the summer.
But tourism minister Reyes Maroto has since suggested the country will begin to reopen from the spring.
She said: ‘Our priority in 2021 is to reactivate tourism and resume safe mobility on a global scale as soon as possible. We hope that at the end of spring and especially during the summer, international travel will resume and travellers will choose Spain as their destination.’
Spain is the favourite destination for Brits travelling abroad, with more than 18 million visiting in 2019.
The travel industry was one of the worst affected by the pandemic as countries around the world closed their borders to try and prevent cases coming in.
Holidays briefly resumed last summer following the introduction of the travel corridor scheme which allowed people to leave the country without having to quarantine when they got back.
Police officers patrol along the shopping street La Bola in Ronda, southern Spain (Picture: Reuters)
Spain was included on the list – but was abruptly removed two weeks later triggering a panic as thousands of holidaymakers rushed to make it home before the deadline.
The current lockdown restrictions prohibit people from travelling abroad on holiday.
Anyone arriving in the UK must produce a negative test less than 72 hours old and quarantine for 10 days, reduced to five with a second test.
A healthcare worker disinfects his colleague in a street in Ronda, southern Spain (Picture: Reuters)
There have been more than 2,400,000 cases of coronavirus and 55,000 deaths in Spain since the pandemic began, according to John Hopkins University.
Some 20% of hospital beds and 35% of ICUs are currently full of Covid patients. This figure is far higher than those recorded across hospitals and ICUs in the first wave.
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