Spanish officials told the BBC that they will not follow through on threat to impose quarantine on tourists arriving from Britain in response to the blanket quarantine the UK has imposed on all those arriving on its shores.
The Spanish foreign minister explained that the decision had been arrived at “out of respect” for the Brits who have second homes in Spain, who number at around 400,000.
After months of tight lockdown in Spain, one of the countries worst hit by the coronavirus, Sunday marks the first day that EU travellers are allowed back in. Spaniards can also travel freely inside their country as of Sunday without restriction.
Early last week conflicted messages had emerged from Madrid about the situation that would face arrivals from Britain.
While officials initially said that Britons would be allowed to enter under the same conditions as EU travellers, the foreign ministry later said that it would impose a quarantine in response to the UK’s 14-day quarantine on all incoming travellers.
They now hope their change of tack will be met with reciprocity in London.
“We do hope that [the British authorities] will be sensitive to the 250,000 Spaniards that are also living in the UK and would very much like to enter the UK without quarantine,” foreign minister Arancha González Laya told the BBC.
Those entering Spain will face several precautionary measures. They will have their temperatures checked upon arrival, will be expected to give details on whether they have already been infected with the virus, and will have to provide details of where they are staying during their time in Spain.