The images that occur every weekend of tourists who travel to Spain in the middle of the pandemic, especially from France, to benefit from the more lax measures to contain the pandemic have provoked criticism from most of the groups represented in the Congress, who admit that it is an inconsistency in the face of the internal mobility restrictions that Spaniards have due to the perimeter closures adopted in recent months by many autonomous communities and that will be mandatory at Easter. However, the Government does not consider limiting the arrival of these tourists – discouraging travel with the imposition, for example, of quarantines – because it considers that the EU countries must maintain a common position.
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“We are doing exactly the same in reciprocity with what is being proposed in other countries,” said the spokeswoman for the Executive, María Jesús Montero, at the press conference after the Council of Ministers. Montero has referred to the requirement of a negative PCR test to fly to Spain. “Those are the rules of the game that we have endowed ourselves with and they are the ones that we are trying to apply without any type of failure in all countries,” said the minister.
The president will have to pronounce on this matter in the control session on Wednesday in which the PNV spokesman, Aitor Esteban, will question him about those “leisure trips.” Pedro Sánchez will participate on Thursday and Friday in a telematic meeting of the European Council in which the vaccination certificate for which the Executive is committed will be addressed. However, it does not plan to propose changes in mobility within the EU, according to government sources.
Despite the fact that the European Commission has warned Spain that the limitations on internal travel must be consistent with the external ones, Montero has defended the consensus reached in the Interterritorial Health Council with the autonomous communities to adopt perimeter closures that prevent non-essential movements between regions, but it has slipped that Spain will only maintain the requirement of a negative PCR for foreigners who come. “It is logical,” he stressed about the conditions imposed on citizens of other countries, which are the same as those imposed on Spaniards who cross their borders, as he explained.
However, most groups in Congress have criticized the inconsistency that occurs in those limitations. One of those that has recognized it is United We Can. However, he has placed the responsibility on Isabel Díaz Ayuso, whom he has accused of being “carrying out an advertising campaign that invites tens of thousands of French people to go to Madrid without a mask.” The spokesman in Congress, Pablo Echenique, has acknowledged that “this distinction does not seem coherent to many Spaniards”, but has referred to the criteria of the experts. “We do not see massive arrival of tourists to Spain but mainly to Madrid”, he has riveted.
ERC’s parliamentary spokesman, Gabriel Rufián, has stated that Spain “is becoming a kind of oasis within Europe” and that allowing the entry of French or German tourists is a “terrible irresponsibility and a comparative offense with other communities.” From Más País, Íñigo Errejón has considered that “no one understands that a Spaniard who has a grandfather in Santander cannot go and if someone from Düsseldorf can come”. “It is incomprehensible”, has sentenced.
Also the parliamentary spokesperson for EH Bildu, Mertxe Aizpurúa, has stressed that it is a “distorting factor and an incoherence” that “people cannot visit their relatives for many months and yet we are seeing how they can come from Germany and of the French State to spend the summer “. “Each country is doing one thing and the country next door is doing the opposite … The pandemic is the same in all places,” he said while Cup deputy Mireia Vehí sees “inconceivable that tourists can come to get drunk in Easter week”. Vehí has accused the Government of turning Spain into the “backyard of Europe and the JxCAT spokesperson, Miriam Nogueras, has agreed that it is an” incoherence. “Joan Baldoví de Compromís sees” absolutely little explicable “that some territories do great efforts to contain the pandemic and others like Madrid allow foreigners to enter.
From Ciudadanos, the deputy Guillermo Díaz has insisted that Health should have been more effective with the management of tests and detection at airports and that “this issue is not loaded on the airlines” while he has advocated for a common management of sanitary conditions in Europe.
Also the spokesperson for Vox in Congress, Iván Espinosa de los Monteros, has pointed out that it does not make sense that a foreign tourist can arrive in Spain and Spaniards do not have freedom of movement. “If a Swede can come, Spaniards also have at least the same rights as foreigners and can visit the whole of Spain safely,” he pointed out.
The Government spokesperson recalled that the restriction of mobility “has been the most important therapeutic weapon” against the coronavirus until the arrival of the vaccine and has taken the opportunity to recall that the Council of Ministers has extended the restrictions on flights from Brazil and South Africa as there is a low incidence of the variant of COVID-19 from those countries. Thus, he explained, it is a question of avoiding its diffusion. In the case of the United Kingdom, the restrictions have been removed.