NEWS of Spain latest attempt to ‘re-open’ this summers tourist industry has been met with widespread criticism as many accuse the government of favouring foreigners over residents.
Locals are furious on the decision to allow foreign tourist into the country but resident are still not permitted to cross province boundaries.
María Jesús Montero announced at a cabinet meeting yesterday that UK travelers in particular will be permitted to arrive into Spain from March 30, as long as they hold a negative PCR test valid 72 hours prior to arrival.
Whilst the news comes as a shock to many, Malaga’s mayor Francisco de la Torre has stood up and supported Sanchez’s government in their decision, hoping the arrival will bring much needed money back into the region.
“We are sacrificing our mobility to guarantee a safer space for those who come from abroad and boost the economy,” said de la Torre.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Spain has reportedly lost over €106 billion in tourist revenue, putting the country into a severe economic slump, an event that de la Torre is keen to avoid.
During the statement given to local media, de la Torre explained that Sanchez’s decision should give Spaniards hope that the country is in a good position in the battle of COVID-19, comparing its results to other EU nations.
“If tourists want to come because our incident numbers are better than those of Germany and France, then that surely is a positive.” said the mayor.
Francisco Salado, president of the provincial council of Malaga, firmly disagrees with de la Torre and the decisions of the central government.
“It is understandable that Spaniards do not understand the decision because how is it possible that foreigners can come and Spaniards cannot go, for example, to their second residences,” said Salado.
“The whole situation is nonsense.” he added.
The president of the Costa del Sol Tourism council, Elias Bendodo Benasayag, has also slammed the decision, calling for a regulation of restrictions across countries to avoid confusion.
“The EU has failed because each member state has different criteria that give rise to this lack of coordination between countries.”
“It is a sign of a distinct lack of leadership from the Spanish government.” said Benasayag.
Elias Bendodo of the Junta de Andalucia took a much more diplomatic approach, demanding that if tourists are allowed into Spain then strict measures must be put in place in the regions airports to monitor and test for traces of COVID-19.
“There is no point in removing rights of Spanish citizens if international tourists are arriving into Spain unchecked.” said Bendodo.
The news comes as the UK is discussing implementing £5,000 fines for anyone wishing to travel abroad, classing it as an actual offense, as caseloads rise across countries like Germany and France.
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