MADRID – Spain has ordered a two-week quarantine for all travelers arriving from abroad from Friday to curb the coronavirus, as the country is coming out of a national seal, an action that has shaken the tourist industry already shaken by the epidemic will cause damage.
Data from the Department of Health found that the daily death toll rises to 176 on Tuesday from its seven-week low of 123 on Monday, bringing the total to 26,920. But the number of diagnosed cases rose by just 594 at night to 228,030 – the smallest daily increase in about two months.
Fernando Simon, the health emergency coordinator, said that as Spain managed to control the outbreak and eased internal movement restrictions, Spain was given time to control people from other countries.
“In many countries, shipping will continue worldwide, the biggest risk is importing goods. We would be back in the situation we had in February. We need to make prevention efforts until other countries reach the level of control we have reached, ”he said.
According to the official order published Tuesday, inbound travelers should remain locked up and should only shop for groceries, visit health centers, or in the event of “emergencies.”
Prior to the new rules, arriving travelers had to abide by the general restrictions, which largely kept people at home.
Quarantine will be maintained for all people who come to Spain between 15 May and at least 24 May, when the state of emergency ends.
The order can be extended jointly with any emergency extensions. Spain, which has just emerged from one of Europe’s strictest coronavirus locks, has extended the restrictions four times so far since mid-March.
An extension of the order would seriously harm the Spanish tourism industry, which represents about 12% of the gross domestic product.
About 80 million tourists visit each year and enjoy a range of attractions, from beach vacations in coastal towns to exploring historic cities such as Toledo and Granada.
A quarantine maintained in the summer will have serious consequences for Spanish tourism. Shares of companies related to the Spanish tourism industry plummeted Tuesday morning.
Shares of International Consolidated Airlines, which owns the Iberia airline, fell 2.6% during morning trading, while shares of Melia Hotels, with Spain the largest market, fell 4.7%. Airlines that booked technology company Amadeus were down 2.6%.
The measures apply to all travelers, including Spanish nationals returning to the country. Only truck drivers, air and ship crews, frontier workers and health workers entering Spain to work are exempted from quarantine.
The government had imposed restrictions on travel from outside the open-border Schengen area, which includes most countries of the European Union and other European states such as Norway.
Prior to the new rules, travelers had to abide by general restrictions, leaving people largely at home.
Spain has now started to gradually lift restrictions in the past 10 days with a view to returning to normality in late June, with about half of the population withdrawing to so-called Stage 1 on Monday, when cafes and bars were allowed to reopen with capacity restrictions.
However, the move did not go smoothly everywhere, as on Monday, outside of some bars, from Seville in the south to Santander in the north, a small crowd formed in violation of social distance rules, requiring the police in some cases to establish the establishments Close.