Spain has called on its EU partners to agree a common framework for travel within the Schengen area to ensure Europe emerges promptly from the coronavirus crisis, and to encourage tourism.
Its proposals include border health checks, which Spain believes could help Europe reopen as national lockdowns are lifted, Reuters reports, citing a discussion paper submitted by Spain in response to an EU consultation.
Foreign minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya told Spanish national radio station Cadena Ser it was vital the bloc agreed common procedures as member states reopen their borders.
It comes after Spain’s prime minister, Pedro Sanchez, announced this week the country would reopen to international tourists from the start of July, with its 14-day quarantine on arrival requirement set to be lifted from 1 July.
Spain will seek fresh EU funding to support the country and ensure it takes on minimal debt, with its dormant tourism sector key to its economy.
The European Commission on Wednesday (27 May) announced a new €750 billion recovery fund, part of a €1.85 trillion 2021-2027 budget to repair the damage done by the coronavirus pandemic.
The UK could potentially benefit from any short-term border arrangements while it remains subject to EU rules through to the end of the current 1 January 2021 Brexit transition period.
However, once the UK’s EU member lapses fully, it will likely have to agree bilateral coronavirus agreements with EU member states.