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COVID-19: Spain reopens borders; lifts up emergency

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Madrid: Spain has reopened borders and ended the state of emergency imposed to contain COVID-19 on Sunday (June 21). The borders are now open to all European countries except Portugal and Schengen area members outside the bloc and United Kingdom in order to boost the tourism of the country which accounts for 12 per cent of the economy.

Tourists from Britain will now be allowed in without having to quarantine, though they will be subject to 14 days of isolation upon their return. People will still have to wear masks. At Madrid’s Adolfo Suarez-Barajas International Airport, many people were seen who are expectedly travelling to their loved ones. The country has been under lockdown since March 14.

All passengers will go through temperature tests and have to submit details of where they come from and whereabouts in Spain in case they need to be traced. It has also been reported that Spain’s border will be opened for Portugal on July 1, at the request of Lisbon.

Tourism Minister Reyes Maroto said Spain was ready to welcome tourists but the country has to work to get that message out. “We have to build trust,” Maroto was quoted as saying to ABC newspaper on Sunday. “Translate to travellers, Spaniards and foreigners, that the country is a safe destination.” Spain has recorded about 2.9 lakhs COVID 19 cases and more than 28,000 deaths.

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