Popular holiday island destination Ibiza has issued a new rule for visitors as it plans to reopen to tourists following the lockdown period. The Balearic island’s leader has indicated that all visitors must be able to prove that they do not have the fast-spreading coronavirus (COVID-19).
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In order to enter the island, tourists must present a “COVID-19 Free” certificate issued by a doctor.
The new measures are in place to help the island stimulate its tourist sector, which has seen massive losses since a forced lockdown meant the annual summer season was pushed back.
Vicent Mari, leader of the Ibiza Island Council, told local media that the move would be “fundamental” in helping the holiday hotspot open safely, and he urged the Spanish government to implement the system.
Nightclubs on the island are also anticipating opening their doors once the quarantine period for international tourists entering the country comes to an end.
Jose Luis Benitez, manager of leisure association Ocio de Ibiza, had a bleaker outlook, though.
He told a local television station: “We haven’t thrown in the towel for this season but we are conscious it will be difficult to open given we can’t maintain social distancing like in cinemas or other bars or cafes.
“Spain is to reopen to international tourists as of July 1, with the country scrapping the current 14-day quarantine period for international arrivals.”
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Arancha González Laya confirmed the news on her Twitter profile.
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She wrote: “The worst is behind us.
“In July we will gradually open Spain to international tourists, lift the quarantine, ensure the highest standards of health safety.
“We look forward 2 welcoming you!”
Prime Minister of Spain Pedro Sanchez also encouraged people to “start planning their holidays” as national tourism would begin, followed by international holidays in July.
He added: “There will be a tourist season this summer.
“Spain needs tourism and tourism needs security at origin and security at destination.
“From now, foreign tourists can plan their vacations in our country.”
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However, Spain has not yet confirmed whether – like Greece – it may be imposing a ban on tourists from certain countries or not.
Tourism Minister Maria Reyes Maroto has been in support of tourists from “safe” regions being given the okay to enter the country, by utilising a system marking some countries as “green” based on current infection rates.
Even if Britons are allowed to enter, it is largely up to the UK government when they will give international travel the go-ahead.
At the time of writing, The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) continues to advise the nation against nonessential travel for an “indefinite” period of time.
For tourists hoping to head to Spain in the near future, the FCO website states: “Spain declared a State of Emergency (“Estado de Alarma”) on 14 March, which introduces a series of measures including significant restrictions on movement throughout the country in response to the coronavirus outbreak. They also introduced very strict rules about entering Spain. You must meet the requirements in order to enter.”
This may change as Spain continues through its relaxation of lockdown measures.
Health Minister Matt Hancock also sparked some hope for British holidaymakers recently.
Appearing on ITV’s This Morning on Thursday he said: “We have been looking carefully at this and the rules on quarantine and international travel.
“This crisis has had a massive impact on airlines across the world.
“I am a little more optimistic than I was about being able to get some foreign travel back up.”
When asked if July holidays would go ahead he said: “I wouldn’t rule it out.”
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