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Spain not discussing travel corridor with UK, wants common EU criteria over tourism

Spain not discussing travel corridor with UK, wants common EU criteria over tourism

FILE PHOTO: People sit on a terrace of a bar, as some Spanish provinces are allowed to ease lockdown restrictions during phase one, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Barcelona, Spain, May 28, 2020. REUTERS/Nacho Doce MADRID (Reuters) – Spain is not discussing any travel corridor with Britain, a Spanish foreign ministry source told

FILE PHOTO: People sit on a terrace of a bar, as some Spanish provinces are allowed to ease lockdown restrictions during phase one, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Barcelona, Spain, May 28, 2020. REUTERS/Nacho Doce

MADRID (Reuters) – Spain is not discussing any travel corridor with Britain, a Spanish foreign ministry source told Reuters after a UK tourism lobby group said corridors allowing unrestricted movement with a number of countries would open from June 29.

With the summer fast approaching, a key question is whether and how tourists, in particular from Britain, will be able to travel across Europe, bringing a boost to hard-hit economies.

Spain, severely affected by the pandemic but which now seems to have it under control, has taken a stricter approach than other countries and only plans to start opening its borders to foreign visitors on July 1.

Britain, whose coronavirus death toll is the highest in Europe, introduced a 14-day quarantine for international arrivals on Monday.

Portugal has said it is discussing a travel corridor that would exempt British visitors returning from Portugal from that quarantine period, facilitating tourism.

But Spain has no plans to do the same, the foreign ministry source said.

“Spain has called for a common (European Union-wide) approach to opening the borders. If this is not done, it will establish its own criteria,” the source said.

“The UK is in a period of transition. This means that they will receive the same treatment as EU and Schengen countries for the opening (of borders to tourists), unless they stay out of it because of the epidemiological situation.”

Meanwhile, Spain will allow about 6,000 tourists from Germany, where the pandemic is largely under control, to fly to the Balearic Islands from June 15, two weeks before the country reopens its borders, to test how to restart tourism.

Reporting by Belen Carreno, Emma Pinedo, Inti Landauro; Writing by Ingrid Melander; Editing by Catherine Evans

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