BRITISH tourists will be able to enter Spain from next week.
The welcome news comes after 24 hours of confusion generated by the country’s decision to reopen to international tourism a week earlier than expected.
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It was initially thought that Spain was only opening its borders to member of the Schengen zone – which the UK and Ireland are not a part of.
But it has since been clarified by the Spanish Foreign Ministry that EU member states are included, and as the UK is still in the transition phase of leaving the EU then it is part of this group.
German tourists have already started to arrive in the country today though, as part of a trial for new coronavirus measures ahead of the official opening of the country to foreign visitors.
Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez announced yesterday : “The recovery of tourist activity is key for this government.
“Spanish will lift border controls with the EU member states from June 21 and on July 1 it will re-open borders to other countries.
“Tourism and health security will go hand in hand.”
Today, the Spanish Foreign Minister confirmed British tourists would be allowed into Spain from the start of next week too.
The UK is still in a transition phase after voting to leave the UK.
The transition period runs to the end of 2020 and new rules will only take effect on January 1 2021.
A Spanish Foreign Ministry spokesman said today “As it’s in a transition period, it’s considered that the UK is included in the announcement that Pedro Sanchez made yesterday and can return to Spain along with EU nationals when border controls are lifted from June 21.”
Meanwhile, the first German holidaymakers taking part in a Spanish pilot tourism scheme have arrived in Majorca.
Nearly 200 sunseekers touched down just before 11am on a flight from Dusseldorf and had their temperatures taken before being allowed into the country.
There were no immediate reports any of the tourists had been put into quarantine because they were displaying Covid-19 symptoms.
Another 200 German holidaymakers were due to arrive this afternoon on a second flight from Frankfurt.
Many are understood to have holiday homes on the island, although others will stay in hotels in Playa de Palma east of the Majorcan capital.
Another 10,500 holidaymakers are expected to jet to Majorca over the next fortnight.
The pilot scheme was due to be a two-week test ahead of Spain’s re-opening to international tourism on July 1, although PM Pedro Sanchez has now brought the date forward to June 22 for most European travellers.
Britons were excluded from the pilot scheme because of the UK coronavirus situation.
While Brits are allowed into the county from next week, a Spanish government spokesperson has told the Telegraph that they could change UK entry rules again, “if the epidemiological situation in Britain requires this.”
While borders across Europe are being opened, Brits are still being told that they must quarantine for 14 days on their return to the UK if they do go abroad.
EasyJet, alongside rivals British Airways and Ryanair, started legal action on Friday against the British government’s quarantine policy to try to have it overturned.
In addition, the Foreign Office currently advises Brits against all but essential international travel.