MADRID—Spain ordered a two-week quarantine on all travelers arriving from abroad from May 15 in a bid to prevent visitors from sparking a second wave of the CCP virus, a move that will further harm the tourism sector already reeling from the epidemic.
One of the worlds worst-hit countries, Spain has largely brought the outbreak under control within its borders and has begun to relax its tight lockdown regime.
The main risk now lies in importing new cases from abroad, Health Emergency Coordinator Fernando Simon told a news briefing.
“We have to do prevention efforts until other countries reach the level of control that we have achieved,” he said.
Health ministry data showed the daily death toll rising to 176 on May 12 from May 11s seven-week low of 123 and bringing the total to 26,920. But the number of diagnosed cases rose by just 594 overnight to 228,030—its smallest daily rise in about two months.
An official order published on May 12 said the quarantine would apply to all travelers arriving between May 15-May 24 when the countrys state of emergency is due to end.
Visitors must remain indoors, only allowed out for groceries, to visit health centers, or in a “situation of need.”
Truck drivers, airplanes, and ship crews, cross-border workers and health staff working in Spain will be exempt.
The government had previously imposed restrictions on traveling from outside the open-border Schengen Area, which includes most of the European Union countries and other European states such as Norway.
The order can be prolonged with a possible state of emergency extensions. Spain has so far extended its restrictions four times since mid-March.
Further restrictions on movement could spell disaster for Spains vital tourism industry, which draws some 80 million annual visitors and accounts for around 12 percent of the gross domestic product in the worlds second most visited country.
Gloria Guevara Manzo, chief executive of the World Travel and Tourism Council, said the government should make it clear that the rule is only intended to last as long as Spain maintains restrictions on movement.
“If confinement is lifted and this 14-day quarantine policy is maintained, unfortunately, that would put the country at a competitive disadvantage,” Guevara told reporters on a conference call.
Shares of International Consolidated Airlines, which owns the Iberia airline, were down 1.2 percent, in afternoon trade, while shares of Melia Hotels, whose largest market is Spain, were Read More – Source