Holidays to Spain are back on the agenda following the decision by the Spanish government to end the national State of Emergency and reopen its borders to EU and Schengen area countries, as well as the UK. However, it has also put in place new regulations to ensure the safety of locals and visitors.
The new rules, enforcing social distancing and upping hygiene, will see an overhaul of the traditional holiday experience.
Tourists and residents found to be flouting the rules set out by Spanish authorities could face penalties.
From June 21, Spain entered into what it describes as “the new normal”.
One major part of the phased relaxation is an obligatory use of face masks in public spaces, including on beaches.
Spain holidays: Face masks are now mandatory in public
Though the idea of wearing a mask while sunbathing might not be the typical holiday ensemble, those who opt not to wear the masks could face penalties of €100 (approximately £90).
The FCO updated its advice surrounding the wearing of face coverings in Spain on June 23.
It explains: “The use of face masks is obligatory to anyone over the age of 6 years old in all public spaces in Spain, where it is not possible to maintain social distancing of 1.5 metres.
“Face masks must cover the nose and mouth. Penalties may be imposed if you do not comply.
“Those with respiratory problems or those unable to wear a mask due to other health conditions or disabilities are exempt from this rule.”
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They add that although the use of face masks on children between the ages of three and five is not mandatory, it is “recommended”.
The FCO warns Britons who might be visiting Spain for essential purposes: “Protective protocols and safety measures remain in place and you should observe the guidelines set out by the Spanish Government at all times.
“You should also refer to regional authorities for any additional local measures where you are as this may vary from one region to the next.
Along with the wearing of face masks, other measures include social distancing of 1.5-metres and a new track and trace system which means “all shops, businesses and transport companies are obliged to keep passengers’ contact information for up to 4 weeks for tracking and tracing purposes.”
Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has spoken out about the desire for tourists to return to Spanish shores.
He said, from July 1 Spain is “open for business”.
Though Britons are legally allowed to enter Spain, there are three tests Britons must pass upon entry.
Manuel Muñiz, the Secretary of State for Global Spain, told the Today programme: “Basically, they are going to see three fundamental checks at the border.
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“There will be a temperature check, a visual check of everybody arriving and they will have to fill a health form where they are going to have to indicate any symptoms they might have had in prior days.
“Any contact with confirmed COVID-19 cases and they are going to have to leave their contact details.
“There is going to be a follow up for the following fourteen days from the health authorities just to see how they are doing and if they have developed any symptoms while in Spain.”
However, at the time of writing the FCO continues to advise Britons against all nonessential travel internationally.