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Spain reopens its borders at the end of the state of emergency

MADRID: Passengers wearing masks and rolling suitcases arrived at Madrid’s main airport on Sunday as Spain opened its borders to most European countries and ended the state of emergency imposed to contain the coronavirus.
Spain’s borders are now open to all countries of the European Union, except Portugal, as well as to members of the Schengen area outside the bloc and to Great Britain, which gives a boost to the country’s tourism industry, which accounts for over 12% of the economy.
British tourists will be allowed entry without having to be quarantined, Spain said on Saturday, although they will still be under 14-day isolation upon their return.
Spaniards were also allowed to move freely around the country from Sunday and many were due to visit friends, relatives and second homes in other areas. Since March 14, people have to stay in their province.
At Madrid’s Adolfo Suarez-Barajas International Airport, there was a palpable sense of relief for passengers, many of whom were making trips to see loved ones after months of absence.
“My situation is a bit complicated because my wife lives in Italy and I live in Spain so we haven’t seen each other for four months,” said Alberto Bos, who was flying to Milan.
All arriving passengers will have their temperature taken, provide information on where they came from and indicate their location in Spain in case they need to be located.
Spain’s border with neighboring Portugal will reopen on July 1.
“It’s very strange because we are not used to traveling anymore,” said Italian tourist Martina, who was among the first to arrive in Spain on a flight from Bergamo.
Stickers on the arrivals hall floor ensure those waiting for passengers comply with social distancing measures.
“We will allow British visitors to enter Spain just like the rest of the European Union or the Schengen area from June 21 freely and without the need for quarantine,” Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya said on Saturday. at BBC News.
But Britain’s own quarantine measures, requiring a two-week self-isolation period for most people entering the country, could put off potential travelers. Britain is due to review its quarantine rule on June 29, three weeks after its introduction.
Some 1,500 German tourists landed in Mallorca early last week as part of a pilot project to establish a travel corridor between the two areas, before restrictions were lifted on Sunday.
In his final speech during the state of emergency, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez praised the Spaniards on Saturday for coming together in one of Europe’s toughest lockdowns, but warned they must remain vigilant because there could be a second wave.
Spain, which has recorded more than 245,000 coronavirus cases and more than 28,000 deaths, has eased its lockdown restrictions in recent weeks.

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