Published on : Monday, June 15, 2020
On Sunday, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced that Spain is set to reopen EU borders and re-establish free travel with fellow EU countries starting next Sunday, June 21. The decision comes as the number of new coronavirus cases in the country began showing a downward graph on Saturday, with just 48 positive cases one of the lowest daily numbers since early March.
Spain has recorded one of the highest coronavirus-related death tolls in the world and also entered one of the most stringent coronavirus lockdowns across the globe. The government closed Spanish borders under the state of alarm on March 14 in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus outbreak. However, with the state of alarm coming to an end in June 21, residents of the country would be allowed to travel throughout the territory once again. The move would also allow travellers to enter the country without the need of a two weeks quarantine period.
By Monday, more than 70% of Spain’s population will be in the final stage of a phased rollback of the lockdown that would be over by June 21. Initially, it was decided that Spain would reopen its borders on July 1. However, the European Commission recently recommended that the 27 EU members will have to fully reopen their frontiers with each other on June 15 and many countries already began doing the same. Therefore, Spain decided to reopen borders with other European Union countries in the Schengen Area, a week ahead of the decided date. Travellers from the United Kingdom will also be allowed to enter the country from the same date as U.K. is still considered an EU member state.
However, Spanish borders would not open to the rest of the world before July 1. The government has also prepared a list of high-risk countries that will continue to be banned from sending non-essential travellers to the country. The epidemiological situation and its border closure with Spain would be taken into consideration when deciding which countries will be approved to enter Spain from July. Additionally, land borders with Portugal will remain controlled through June and open after July 1.
Prime Minister Sanchez also informed that Italy reopened its borders on June 3a and Madrid has also declared that the coronavirus situation in under control. Although, he expressed that opening the borders could provoke a new surge and said that the present moment is critical and everyone should be well prepared. Spain has already begun welcoming its first international tourists as part of a pilot program that will bring German visitors to the Balearic Islands for the first time in months.