MADRID — The top official in charge of easing Spain’s lockdown says that the country will reopen to foreign tourists in July only when safety for both locals and visitors is guaranteed.
Wary of the competition from other Mediterranean countries already reopening borders, hoteliers and officials in tourist-magnet islands and coastal regions have been pressing Spanish central authorities to relax curbs in place to fight the coronavirus outbreak.
But Environment and Energy Minister Teresa Ribera has told EFE news agency that an early massive opening to visitors would be “irresponsible.”
“Our idea is to work on safe origins and destinations thinking on July rather on June,” Ribera told the state news agency.
She added that rebounds of the outbreak in China, South Korea and Singapore have been associated to imported infections.
Tourism contributes 12% of Spain’s gross domestic product. The country has recorded at least 27,800 deaths for the novel virus and more than 232,000 confirmed infections.