This article discusses Spain's thinking about the reopening of inbound tourism. Internal disagreements are laid bare: The prime minister's statement indicates a slower reopening than the tourism and industry minister.
Hopefully they have learned their lesson from last summer, and do not put the tourism industry above people's lives. Best to take it slow this summer and use the time to restructure the economy away from a mass tourism dependency.
PS: Thanks acraven, missed that one.
Carlos, I think you've left a word out of your response.
I think you meant to say they should not put the tourism industry above people's lives. Sorry if I'm guessing wrong.
We have two trips to Mallorca booked in August and October this year. The August one was moved from last year by the resort in the belief that travel would be possible but I'm not sure it will be given the UK Government's claim that mandatory isolation at an airport hotel at my expense on return to the UK would still be in place by the summer. However, this may simply be a scare tactic to drive the takeup of the vaccine as seems to be a lot of the constantly changing rules.
Spain may not be accepting tourists in August however it will take someone with courage to create so much damage to the largest Spanish economy. Who knows if October will happen. Ironically British Airways has now started operating from Southampton airport again, one of the routes being Palma which is perfect for us but it's likely that we'll not see the benefit of it this year.
In the first 4 weeks, 2% of the population has received the vaccine ( as I read the article). The goal to 're-open' is 70% vaccinated and the target date is August. That implies a huge increase in the rate of vaccination.
The vaccination process will need to be vastly improved, the re-opening postponed/cancelled, or the goal modified or abandoned.
Looks to be akin to the irresistible force coming upon the immovable object
The EU is struggling to secure vaccines. They have yet to authorise the use of the Oxford/Astrazeneca vaccine despite it being in use in the UK since December. This is due to be authorised by the end of the week however Oxford/Astrazeneca have stated that they can only supply a fraction of the doses the EU have paid for due to supply issues. Spanish reluctance to accept the vaccine has dropped from 47% to 28% by November last year which, if those rates remained steady, then it would likely reach the estimated figure of 70% vaccinated to provide herd immunity. This drop in reluctance was likely a result of the stasi-esque report by the Spanish government that a record would be kept of all those who refused a vaccine.
Given the troubles the EU has and will continue to have in rolling out sufficient vaccinations I believe the target of August is highly unlikely. Reports in the British press today are highlighting many Britons cancelling their bookings for the summer, partly because of the new rules imposing a 10 day quarantine within an airport hotel at the passenger's cost (currently set at £1500.00) and no guarantee of whether you get the Sofitel or a Travelodge. If this rule is to continue throughout the year to the summer it will decimate the travel industry. Even if Spain was to open its borders with few restrictions I cannot envisage anyone wanting to undergo such draconian measures simply for a week or two in the sun. This is turn would have a devastating impact on Spanish tourism as the UK is Spain's largest tourism market.
Europe appeared to have the pandemic pretty much under control until the summer holidays, where numbers soared and we've never recovered. Much as I want to travel again (and as JC mentioned, BA is flying out from my local airport - one of the destinations is Florence - must resist) it is still very difficult to contemplate making firm plans - even after vaccination is more common.