Spain aims to reopen its borders around the end of June, as its coronavirus-related deaths fell below 100 for the second day in a row.
Transport minister Jose Luis Abalos said the reopening would be phased out in parallel with travel being allowed within the country: “We cannot allow foreigners to travel while the Spanish population is confined”, he said.
The country relies heavily on tourism, which accounts for over 12% of its economic output. “From late June, we will start tourism activity, I hope. We must make Spain an attractive country from the health point of view”, Abalos added.
Last week, the government imposed a 14-day quarantine for all foreign travellers coming to the country, in a bid to curb the spread of virus.
With over 27,700 deaths and more than 231,600 confirmed Covid-19 cases, Spain is one of the hardest-hit countries by the pandemic. Over 50,000 medical workers have been infected, while 35 of them have died.
Health emergency chief Fernando Simon said, however, that the mortality rate had decreased from around 11% during the late March peak in Spain to less than 2% for those who developed symptoms between April 27 and May 3. “Today’s data are really good compared to what we’ve seen so far”, he added.
Prime minister Pedro Sanchez said on Saturday he would seek parliament’s approval to extend the country’s state of emergency until the end of June, when most regions should have returned to normality.