EU is blaming Spain for incoherent travel policy

by Lorraine Williamson
Travel policy within Spain
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The European Commission has asked Spain to better coordinate the travel policy restrictions for national and international travellers. While borders of the autonomous regions remain closed around Easter tourists from abroad are allowed to enter Spain as usual. 

Now that Germany no longer regards parts of Spain as a risk, many foreign tourists are expected. This is particularly to the Island groups. Because there is no entry ban from abroad, there is a possibility that tourists could come from an area with a higher Covid-19 incidence.

Coherent travel policy 

EU spokesman, Christian Wigard underlined that the risk of spreading the coronavirus when travelling abroad is no less than when travelling within national borders. He says it is important all EU member states pursue a coherent policy relating to national and international movements.

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For weeks there has been a lack of understanding about the conflicting travel policy of the Spanish government. A perimeter lockdown was announced for all autonomous regions in the period around Easter. Therefore, there was great outrage that foreign tourists are welcome in Spain. The Spanish government invokes the difficult-to-close borders as a defense in this unequal approach. In addition, it is believed that not many people will travel. But those who do will have to provide a negative test result on arrival in Spain.

As a result, Balearic Vice President and Tourism Minister lago Negueruela has required the central government to ensure strict surveillance of the corona-free nature of all international travellers arriving in his region in the coming weeks.

Restrictions set by different authorities 

The conflicting travel restrictions result from the different levels of government at which decisions about the restrictions are made. The autonomous regions have the power to decide on movements within their own territory, while the central government has the final say over the admission of travellers from abroad. With the exception of an entry ban for travellers from the United Kingdom and countries outside the EU, the government has not yet implemented a drastic total entry ban. Travellers arriving in Spain by plane or boat must show a negative PCR result. This measure does not apply to all travellers by car.

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