Spain wants a Europe-wide approach to restoring tourism this summer, potentially dashing any immediate hopes in the UK of an air bridge agreement.
Citing a foreign minister source in Madrid, Reuters reports Spain is not currently in talks with the UK over any kind of safe travel arrangement.
The UK government is understood to be seeking air bridge or safe travel corridor agreements with holiday hotspots to allow outbound tourism to resume this summer.
Any such bilateral agreements with countries with lower rates of coronavirus infection could allow British travellers to forgo the UK’s 14-day quarantine on arrival requirement.
However, Spain last month called for an EU-wide common travel framework to help countries in the Schengen area emerge promptly from the coronavirus crisis.
Only if this effort is unsuccessful will the country consider establishing its own criteria for reopening its borders, the Spanish government source told Reuters.
Earlier this month, Portugal’s foreign minister told the BBC talks were ongoing with the UK over an air bridge.
The UK’s quarantine measures will be due for their first three-weekly review on 29 June, and it has been suggested they could be swiftly eased in favour of air bridges or travel corridors.
A poll of more than 2,000 UK nationals this week by the travel sector-led Quash Quarantine found 85% of respondents lacked confidence in government to deliver quarantine successfully.
A further 59% of those respondents who expressed an opinion on alternative arrangements said they supported air bridges or travel corridors as a way to restore quarantine-free travel.
Meanwhile, a third of respondents to TTG’s latest Travel Agent Tracker survey said quarantine was the biggest issue facing their businesses right now.