If you were planning to go on holiday to Spain this summer, be prepared to have your plans altered because of new restrictive measures. This is a serious blow to the Spanish economy and to tourists, as the country is one of the most popular destinations in Europe.
A sharply rising infection rate
During the 113th Executive Council of the World Tourism Organisation, which took place at the end of January in Madrid, the Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez gave an alarming assessment of the current health situation due to the coronavirus epidemic. A record infection rate of 796 cases per 100,000 people in the last 14 days has been recorded, which could tarnish the horizon for the coming summer.
A vaccination target hard to reach before the end of summer 2021
In fact, a gradual return to normal allowing, the mass return of foreign tourists does not seem to be expected before the end of August. Pedro Sanchez said:
Only mass vaccination will pave the way to the normality we all desire. The government is working to vaccinate at the highest possible rate to reach the end of the summer with 70% vaccinated, which will allow Spain to be progressively better prepared to receive international tourists.
While waiting to reach this vaccination target, a negative PCR test is required upon arrival in the country. This is a deterrent measure that risks compromising many holidaymakers’ plans. The announcement is bad news for the country, which welcomed only 19 million tourists in 2020, 77% less than in 2019, according to the National Statistics Institute (INE). Catalonia, the region most popular with holidaymakers, has seen an 80% drop in visits, as has the Balearic Islands, which has recorded a drop of 87%.
As the measures are likely to change in the coming months, it is recommended that you visit the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs website regularly to keep up to date.