BRITS and other foreign residents wanting to return to their homes in Andalucia may have to wait for a bilateral agreement between Spain and the UK.
Junta Vice President Juan Marin said in a press conference in Sevilla yesterday that he values foreign residents and those with vacation homes and the positive impact they have on regions such as the Costa del Sol.
But he added that returning to their properties right now is impossible due to the regional, national and international travel restrictions due to COVID-19.
“I can understand the interest of foreigners who reside in Andalucia returning,” he said, “but the borders are closed and I do not know if the governments of their respective countries are going to allow them to do so.
“Nor do I know when they will decide to open their borders.”
He added: “If someone has their home here and there are bilateral agreements between Spain and any country such as Germany, the UK or the Nordic countries… they will be welcome after passing security controls, the same controls Spaniards will pass when travelling.”
The return of foreign residents is considered to be vital for areas like the Costa del Sol, where many towns have up to 50% or in some cases more of their populations consisting of Brits, Germans and other non-Spaniards.
Director of Les Roches Marbella Carlos Diez de la Lastra is currently one of two experts assisting in the tourism rescue plan for the costa.
He told Diario Sur: “We have a high number of foreign residents who live here and who returned to their countries of origin when the crisis borke out.
“It will be interesting if they manage to return soon, because there will be no better advertising campaign than your neighbour who has a house in Torremolinos or Malaga and who tells you that everything is great here.”
He added: “If they begin to return, our recovery will be faster because when people in their home countries witness that, they will feel that the Costa del Sol is a destination with a certain level of security.”