British tourists will be allowed to travel to Spain from Sunday without being required to self-isolate, Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha González said.
González said on Saturday that the Spanish government took the decision unilaterally to allow the hundreds of thousands of British owners of second residences in the southern European country to visit their properties. Visitors from overseas have been required to self-isolate for 14 days since May 15.
The decision comes after days of talks with the British government, in which Madrid hoped to persuade London to also lift its quarantine over Spanish visitors. But reciprocity has not yet been agreed.
Spain will open its borders to visitors from the Schengen area tomorrow. Tourism is a vital source of wealth for Spain, contributing 12 percent to the country’s GDP and supporting about 2.6 million jobs.
“We are discussing with U.K. authorities whether they will do the same on their side. Nonetheless, we are doing this out of respect for the 400,000 British that have a second residence in Spain and are dying to benefit from their homes in our country,” González told the BBC. “We want to honor our commitment to treat British citizens, who are on an epidemiological basis similar to other European Union member states … [so that they can] continue to be able to join their homes in Spain as of June 21.”
Visitors will be subject to origin and temperature checks, and will be required to provide contact details to the Spanish authorities, so that they can be traced if they are found to have been potentially exposed to an infected person, González said.