Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has urged people not to lower their guard as the country’s coronavirus state of emergency came to an end at the weekend and prepared to reopen its borders to European visitors.
Speaking on Saturday, Sánchez thanked the nation for its patience, sacrifice and unity over the past 13 weeks, but said there was no room for complacency as the country emerges into “the new normality” of post-pandemic life.
“We are now in a position to move forward,” he said. “But we can’t lower our guard. We need to keep it up, and we need to keep on following the hygiene and protection rules with the same sense of personal responsibility we’ve seen up until now.
We can all be either a wall against the virus or the means of transmission. It depends on each and every one of us.”
Sánchez pointed out that the World Health Organization have said the virus is accelerating.
“The warning is quite clear,” he said. “The virus could return and we could be hit by a second wave, which is something we need to avoid at all costs.”
We can now travel between the country’s different regions, but masks will continue to be mandatory in public places when physical distancing of at least 1.5 metres is not possible.
Spain has also reopened its borders to visitors from other EU countries and the Schengen area, with the exception of Portugal, which asked Madrid to delay the opening of the land border until 1 July, when Spain will begin welcoming travellers from the rest of the world.
Although the 14-day quarantine requirement for overseas visitors has also expired, those arriving at Spanish airports will have their temperatures taken and will need to provide contact details.
The Spanish government said on Saturday evening that visitors from the UK will be able to come to Spain without needing to spend 14 days in quarantine on arrival, as had been suggested earlier last week.
Foreign minister, Arancha González Laya, confirmed that UK travellers are allowed to enter the country on the same basis as those from the EU and the Schengen area.
The Spanish Health Ministry has updated the coronavirus death toll after freezing the total for close to two weeks.
The overall number of victims is 28,313, up from the figure of 27,136.