EU countries are beginning to reopen their borders as measures imposed due to the deadly coronavirus outbreak are easing around the continent. But Britons are likely to face long quarantines if they travel to Spain.
Home Secretary Priti Patel announced during a daily briefing anyone returning to or entering the UK must self-isolate for two weeks in a bid to stop the spread of the virus.
With the new measures in place in the UK, Spain’s Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya suggested the same rule could be imposed for Britons entering Spain.
She told the BBC: “We will be checking what the UK will be doing and we will be in a dialogue with the UK to see whether or not we should be introducing reciprocity as they have different measures than the rest of the European Union.”
Ms Laya added officials would like to “properly engage in a dialogue with the UK authorities to make sure” that both countries “take the message that best corresponds to the health situation”.
She said: “Hopefully by the time we open our borders, the UK would have moved forward also.”
Her comments come after Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez announced over the weekend the borders will be reopening to all travellers from EU countries on June 21, with the exception of Portugal who will keep their borders closed until July 1.
He said: “Tourism is a key sector for the economic recovery.
“We have been able to corner the virus in our country and on the European continent… but the risk has not disappeared.”
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Tourists could be required to take a coronavirus test before they travel, costing around 20 euros.
The move comes as Britons could be forced to abandon plans for a holiday abroad this summer due to the Government’s 14-day quarantine policy.
Speaking at Friday’s Downing Street press conference, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps revealed the Government is looking at “air bridges” to allow Britons to go on holiday abroad.
He said officials are talking to airlines about the possibility of opening up ”travel corridors”.
The measure would mean travellers arriving from countries where the risk of coronavirus infection is deemed to be low not having to self-isolate.
Since lockdown measures were imposed in the UK back in March, airlines grounded most of their flights as the government announced only essential travel should be made.
But as lockdown measures have now eased in the UK – despite infection and death numbers still high – it appears airlines are looking at ways to reopen the industry.
EasyJet’s chief executive Johan Lundgren has said he believes summer holidays will be possible.
He said: “We would hope and would be really looking forward to restrictions being either lifted, or air bridges put in place where it made sense to do so, allowing UK customers as well as people in the rest of Europe to be able to go on a holiday.”
The UK has the highest number of COVID-19 deaths in the whole of Europe as the figures rose more than 40,000.