The Spanish Foreign Minister has spoken against the French diplomat’s concerns regarding vacations in the Portuguese and Spanish tourist destinations, while the latter’s tourism spots remain distressed due to repeated changes to rules, which according to them, are discouraging people from travelling.
Last week, the France Secretary of State for European affairs, Clément Beaune, warned people to “avoid Spain and Portugal as a destination” since the French government is thinking of restricting travelling to these countries, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
Arancha González Laya, the Spanish Foreign Minister, said the current increase of COVID-19 infections is not resulting in more hospitalisations and advised people to be “proportionate” on how they approach the current stage of the pandemic.
“This is a time for prudence, not for panicking. There is no reason at the moment to ask people to cancel their vacations,” she said.
On the other hand, the French Foreign Minister, Yves Le Drian, noted that vaccination against the virus it’s a must before travelling, saying that “the vaccine is the door to Spain”.
Tourism is a vital sector to Iberian countries’ economies and jobs since it accounts for most of GDP’s revenue in the respective countries, and losing the European tourists such as French would be a significant blow.
Previously, Germany announced that Spanish travellers would have to undergo additional restrictions, as the rates of COVID-19 cases in Spain were constantly increasing. As a result, since July 11, Spanish nationals travelling to Germany must present proof of vaccination against COVID-19, proof of recent recovery from the virus, or negative test results.
Travellers vaccinated with one of the European Medicines Agency authorised vaccines (Moderna, Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Janssen) are free of the quarantine entry restriction, provided they present the vaccination certificate.
In the last 24 hours, the World Health Organisation data reveals that Spain hasn’t reported any deaths or COVID-19 positive cases.
As of July 12, the European Disease and Control Prevention shows that 69.2 per cent of the country has at least received one dose of the COVID vaccine, whereas 49.9 per cent of the population is fully vaccinated.
As SchengenVisaInfo.com previously reported, Germany has been imposing strict entry requirements for Portugal, allowing non-essential travelling for the country only last week.
The change in entry restrictions for arrivals from Portugal took place only after the EU Executive and the Portuguese Prime Minister criticised Germany’s decision, saying that it does not align with the EU’s approach to easing travelling altogether for the summer season.