Brits are unlikely to be able to take their summer holidays in Spain after the country announced it is keeping its borders shut until enough people have had the vaccine.
Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez told a meeting of the World Tourism Organisation in Madrid that the country will ‘progressively’ prepare to welcome international tourists again once 70% of its citizens have had the jab.
On the country’s current trajectory, this target won’t be met until the end of the summer, ruling out an August break on the Costa del Sol for millions of Brits.
‘Only mass vaccination will open the way to the normality we want,’ Mr Sanchez told the 113th meeting of the Executive Council held in Madrid on Wednesday, according to Euro Weekly News.
It comes as the Covid situation in Spain worsened with 41,576 new coronavirus cases reported, the highest number registered in a 24-hour period since the virus first broke out.
All non-essential travel to Spain from the UK was banned last year, originally until January 9, before this was extended to February 2 at the earliest.
The country’s tourism sector has suffered hugely due to the pandemic with a reported loss of €106bn. Popular destinations including Barcelona, Costa del Sol and Costa Blanca have been left empty of tourists.
Spanish residents are still able to return from the UK but new travel rules mean they must present evidence of a negative test result for coronavirus on arrival. This is also now a requirement for anyone trying to enter the UK.
Spain has seen more than 2,400,000 cases of coronavirus and 55,000 deaths since the pandemic began, according to John Hopkins University.
Some 20% of hospital beds and 35% of ICUs are full of Covid patients. This figure is far higher than those recorded across hospitals and ICUs in the first wave.
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