CORONAVIRUS

Spain announces it will reopen borders to EU states, including the UK, on June 21

Travelers from countries outside Schengen will be permitted to enter from July 1, providing there is a reciprocal agreement on travel and taking into account the epidemiological situation in the country of origin.

The premier of the Canary Islands, Ángel Víctor Torres, during Sunday’s video conference with his regional counterparts and Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez.
The premier of the Canary Islands, Ángel Víctor Torres, during Sunday’s video conference with his regional counterparts and Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez.Elvira Urquijo A. / EFE

During his weekly video conference with Spain’s regional premiers, Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez announced on Sunday that the country will reopen its borders with all European Union and Schengen-area countries on June 21. The exception will be Portugal, which will have to wait until July 1 on the request of the Portuguese government. Spain’s King Felipe VI and the president of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, will hold a ceremony on that day to reopen the Spain-Portugal border.

Government sources confirmed on Sunday evening that despite having left the bloc earlier this year, the United Kingdom is still considered an EU member state given that it is in a transition period and enjoys full membership rights. This means that UK travelers will also be able to enter Spain from June 21. Speaking to UK daily The Telegraph, a government source warned, however, that “this does not mean that there may not be another change if the epidemiological situation in Britain requires this.”

On Monday, the British Embassy in Spain sent out a tweet also confirming that the UK was “included in the group of countries to whom these border relaxations will apply.”

Borders were closed by the Spanish government under the state of alarm, which was implemented on March 14 in a bid to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The state of alarm will also end on June 21, meaning that residents in the country will be able to travel freely once more throughout the territory. Spain implemented one of the strictest coronavirus lockdowns in the world, and most residents are still limited to their province or territorial unit under the government’s ongoing deescalation plan.

From June 21, travelers arriving in the country will no longer be required to stay in quarantine for two weeks

Travelers from outside the European Union and the Schengen free-travel area will be permitted to enter Spain from July 1, the prime minister explained, provided there is a reciprocal agreement on travel and taking into account the epidemiological situation in the country of origin, among other factors.

Sánchez expressed particular concern at Sunday’s meeting about the situation regarding the pandemic in the American continent and in countries such as Russia.

In a tweet published on Sunday afternoon, Spain’s Foreign Affairs Minister Arancha González also confirmed that both EU states and Schengen area countries would see borders with Spain reopened from June 21.

Sánchez told the regional chiefs on Sunday that from June 21, travelers arriving in the country will no longer be required to stay in quarantine for two weeks. The prime minister also reported that in the last week, a total of 27 coronavirus-related deaths have been registered according to Health Ministry data, with 235 new infections detected in the last 24 hours.

The prime minister announced to the regional premiers that Sunday’s would be the last of the weekly video calls that have been taking place every Sunday since the coronavirus crisis began. He added that their next meeting would be toward the end of July, and would be in person.

English version by Simon Hunter.

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