Two-thirds of Covid-19 cases in Spain this month have been in four regions, highlighting the need for travel restrictions that are more targeted, the country’s UK tourism chief has said.
Catalunya, Aragon and the Basque Country – all in the north and east of Spain, plus Madrid, have accounted for two out of three new infections according to data taken on 17 August.
Javier Pinanes, Spanish Tourist Office UK director, said: “The decision of the United Kingdom (our main source market) and other countries to impose a quarantine on travellers from Spain has undermined tourist confidence.
“Our authorities continue to work with the UK government and other EU member states so that actions are taken based on public health criteria and the location of these outbreaks; focusing specifically on the most impacted areas,” he said.
Pinanes said Spain’s rate of Covid fatalities, 54 cases in the last seven days, was lower than the UK’s at 73 and identical as a proportion of population. Spain has now closed nightclubs and tightened social distancing guidelines in restaurants and bars.
“In terms of the outbreaks, according to our Ministry of Health, most of these have been detected from family gatherings, private parties, or in nightclubs with a large concentration of people; followed by outbreaks in a work setting. As such, these are settings which the visitor typically does not need to encounter.
“We believe Spain continues to be a safe tourism destination, as long as the recommended safety and hygiene measures set out by the authorities are respected and followed.
“We are certainly not in the same position as we were in March; not by number of cases or by the pressures put on our health care system.”