British Tourist Setback Over Reopening the Costa del Sol and Costa Blanca areas of Spain

KEY tourist meetings about areas like the Costa del Sol and Costa Blanca in Spain are set to take place tomorrow, with the UK missing out because it left the European Union in January.

EU tourism ministers will hold video conference talks this Monday (April 26) to see whether they can agree on a new set of rules for holidaymakers travelling around the continent.

Despite the UK being a key tourist player in Europe, both incoming and outgoing, Brexit means that they will not have a seat at the negotiating table.

Many aspects of going between countries are set to be discussed tomorrow including the possibility of passengers having a temperature check as well as blood tests before boarding a plane.

There is also the possibility of travel between EU countries being allowed if a tourist has some kind of certificate stating that they are free from Covid-19.

Ministers are keen to agree on some kind of common framework, with the possibility of producing a temporary set of guidelines so that some of the EU members can try to get something out of their 2020 summer and autumn tourist seasons.

All of this is of course dependent on borders reopening and the amount of Covid-19 cases in each member state.

Some countries like Greece and Portugal have avoided the worst of the pandemic, and are especially keen to get their important tourist industries going.

Spain has a high dependency on tourism, accounting for some 15 per cent of the economy.

“We have to have new rules for hotels, new rules for beaches, new rules for pools, new rules for breakfast buffets, new rules for tour buses,” said the Greek tourism minister, Harry Theoharis to The Guardian newspaper.

One hope for tourist areas in Spain like the Costa del Sol and Costa Blanca is that the coronavirus pandemic has hit them far less compared to urban centres like Madrid and Barcelona.

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said at the weekend that there would be a cautious approach to the country moving out of the State of Alarm restrictions.

He suggested that different regions could move at different speeds, leading to some optimism that tourist areas might see a quicker lifting of isolation rules.

The Andalucia region has said that they want to reopen bars and restaurants on May 25.

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Written by

Alex Trelinski


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