The Ministry of Health, Spain, published the regulation late yesterday in an extraordinary Official State Gazette notice within the framework of the declaration of the State of Emergency declared on March 14th due to the impact of COVID-19. The new rule will affect all hotels and similar accommodation, tourist accommodation and other short-stay accommodation, camping sites, caravan parks and other similar establishments, located anywhere in the national territory. One report says 12.559 will be affected.
The Executive says the closure of all these types of establishments should happen from the moment in which each of them “does not have clients to attend to and, in any case, within a maximum period of seven calendar days” from March 19th.
“Exceptionally, the provision of surveillance, security and maintenance services in these establishments is allowed,” states the rule.
Guests who were in long-stay accommodation establishments before the State of Emergency was declared will be able to stay provided they have their own infrastructure in their own living spaces.
These establishments will not be able to admit new clients until further orders.
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“The concentration of people in tourist accommodation, which must share certain common spaces, implies an increased risk of contagion, which is why, given the situation of restriction in the mobility of people, it is necessary, to guarantee the containment of the pandemic, to proceed to suspend the opening of these establishments to the public, ” said the department.
The Autonomous Communities will be in charge of taking the necessary measures to comply with this new provision, which joins the closure of establishments not considered of primary necessity such as cafes, bars, cinemas, clubs or concert halls, among many others.
Some regions of Spain, including Benidorm, the Costa Blanca and Valencia, have already imposed self-regulation and more than 300 hotels will complete their closure by this weekend.
The hotel association for the region, Hosbec had criticised the Spanish Government for not including hotel cloures in the original State of Emergency, saying keeping hotels open was “clearly incompatible” with the present climate.
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The Madrid region is also seeing a wave of hotel closures, being one of the worst hit areas of Spain with 6,777 cases and 498 deaths.
Numerous hotels have been offered as make-shift hospitals.
Other closures in Spain have come at the initiative of the hotel chains themselves.
The spread of coronavirus has badly affected the tourism industry around the world, with flights, trains, and hotels all cancelling, reducing services and closing.
Eurostar trains have slashed their planned timetable for the upcoming weeks following a lack of demand from passengers amid the coronavirus outbreak.
The rail operator, which connects London St Pancras with France, Brussels and Amsterdam, is running just 10 trains on Friday. It would usually be operating 56.
The reduced timetable will continue for the coming weeks and customers are advised to check with the company website for further updates.
However, there are still trains running to all destinations and the usual terms and conditions apply.