Spain aims to reopen borders to visitors around the end of June

coronavirus-1-800x500

Spain aims to reopen borders to visitors around the end of June as the coronavirus lockdown fully unwinds.

Madrid surprised its European partners last week by imposing a two-week quarantine on all overseas travellers and effectively keeping borders closed, saying that it was needed to avoid importing a second wave of the COVID-19 disease.

But the move was meant to be temporary and Transport Minister Jose Luis Abalos said it would be phased out in parallel with travel being allowed within Spain, with regions easing restrictions in different phases.

The Socialist-led government plans to launch a monthly basic income scheme for the most vulnerable households hit by the coronavirus crisis.

The plan is expected to be approved next Tuesday and will aim to reach at least 100,000 households initially.

Each adult under the scheme will get a monthly payment of at least €462. That may be topped up by other benefits, depending on need.

Finland has trialled basic income and Italy has a scheme tied to re-skilling.

However, neither the Finnish experiment – now ended – nor Italy’s “citizens’ income” scheme, introduced last year, made much impact on the unemployment rate.

The Spanish scheme will prioritise families, including single-parent households.

The plan is to scale it up later to reach about a million homes.

Social Security Minister Jose Luis Escrivá said it would act as “a permanent safety net for the most vulnerable”.

The scheme will cost the government between €3bn and €3.5bn annually, he said.

The overnight death toll from the coronavirus was 59 yesterday, the lowest figure in two months.

The cumulative death toll rose to 27,709, while the number of cases rose to 231,606 from 231,350 on Sunday.

Figures include data for more than 24 hours as the health ministry changed its time to announce the day’s tally of cases and fatalities to 5pm.

It was the second day in a row that deaths were under 100.