THE Costa del Sol has practically given up on the idea of attracting British tourists to the Costa del Sol this year.
Andalucia's Regional Tourism Minister Juan Marin admitted the international tourism market was “effectively dead” this summer following the Spanish government’s quarantine announcement.
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From Friday, people arriving in Spain will have to self-quarantine for two weeks at a specified address – including tourists.
They will only be allowed out with face masks to buy essential products like food or medicine, with the new rules in place while Spain’s state of emergency lasts until May 24.
However, it is expected to be extended until at least the end of June and is bound to impact on bookings potential holidaymakers were thinking of making.
Spain’s quarantine announcement came on the back of Boris Johnson’s admission Britain would be ordering those entering the UK to self-isolate for two weeks, which would also affect UK holidaymakers returning from places like Spain.
Mr Marin, who is also vice-president of the regional Junta de Andalucia government, said yesterday: “Today, with the announcement about the quarantine from Friday, international tourism is practically dead for this summer."
“Nobody’s going to come here if they have to spend their holidays stuck in a room for 14 days.”
Andalucian government spokesman Elias Bendodo added: “At this point in time, we need measures to support tourism, not kill it.”
Their comments echoed those of Toni Mayor, the president of the Benidorm and Costa Blanca hotel association Hosbec.
Addressing the quarantine measures Boris Johnson announced on Sunday night, but speaking ahead of Spain’s quarantine announcement, he said: “It’s going to be a body blow for UK aviation and for tourism.
“I think we can wave goodbye to any hopes we had of British tourists returning to the Costa Blanca this summer if it’s in place in July and August."
“No one would want to fly, I’m sure of it. No-one would want to holiday in Spain or Greece or anywhere else.
“For places like Benidorm that depends so heavily on UK tourists, it would be a disaster.”
He added: “For me the only way forward is a common protocol applied across Europe for things like flights based on the sanitary conditions of the countries and regions people are coming from and going to.“
"Each country doing its own thing is not the solution in my mind.”
Ibiza has also slammed the new 14-day coronavirus quarantine rule, while Majorca has already called for the quarantine rule to be rescinded as soon as possible so international tourism can get back to some sort of normality.
Island newspaper, Diario de Ibiza says Ibiza's president, Vicent Mari has described the new quarantine rule as "nonsense" and causing "unnecessary damage to the islands."
The majority of Ibiza's hotels have already indicated that they won't be opening as they cannot make ends meet with just local and Spanish tourists, given the expenditure needed on new coronavirus safety regulations and two months of closure without customers.
Mr Marí told the Spanish press that "it does not make sense to now launch this negative message," especially when there are no international flights in the Balearic Islands.
He told Diario de Ibiza: "It is very unfortunate and it was not necessary, it is totally out of place due to the uncertainty and lack of control that is transmitted to the tour operators.
"Nobody questions health is the priority, but I have to take into account the effects they have on tourist communities, such as the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands, where there is also greater control of the pandemic. It is an absurd announcement."
Tourism councillor for the Balearics, Iago Negueruela said she understood the quarantine rule would be lifted at the same time as the State of Emergency but hoped it would be as soon as possible for that tourism could restart in June.
The European Union will today announce the security protocol that must be applied equally in all airports and ports in the Eurozone.
More than 228,000 people have now died from coronavirus in Spain according to official statistics.
Brits in Benidorm have enjoyed their first pub pint in almost two months today – but immediately ditched the face masks.
Some expats took their shirts off as well as they sipped their beers in the midday sun and topped up their tans in temperatures in the mid-20s following the restriction lift.
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