Spain WILL be open to British holidaymakers from next week

Spain WILL be open to British holidaymakers from next week as country opens its borders from June 21

  • Spain will lift its border controls for EU member states from Sunday, including transition-period Britain
  • But the UK Foreign Office is still advising against all ‘non-essential international travel’ for the time being 
  • Spain is letting in thousands of Germans to fly to the Balearic Islands in a trial run for restarting tourism 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Spain will be open to British tourists from June 21, the country confirmed today. 

Border controls will be lifted for EU member states from Sunday – and the Spanish foreign ministry has confirmed that this includes transition-period Britain. 

‘It’s considered that the UK is included in the announcement and can return to Spain along with EU nationals when border controls are lifted from June 21,’ a statement said.  

However, the UK Foreign Office is still advising against all ‘non-essential international travel’ and anyone returning to Britain is subject to a 14-day quarantine. 

Spanish prime minister Pedro Sanchez has brought forward the resumption of the tourist season by 10 days to this Sunday, saying that ‘the recovery of tourist activity is key for this government’.   

Spain is already allowing thousands of Germans to fly to the Balearic Islands from today in a trial run for resuming its tourist season, after Germany lifted its travel warning for the EU. 

It came as borders were thrown open across Europe today as a raft of countries including Germany and France lifted three months of coronavirus checks.  

SPAIN: German tourists board a bus in Spain today as the Balearic Islands carry out a trial run for resuming their tourist season

GERMANY-DENMARK: Cars queue on the Danish side of the border in Krusaa this morning after both countries eased their travel restrictions 

GERMANY: A TUI flight attendant gives safety instructions to German tourists on the first flight from Duesseldorf to Mallorca in a Spanish tourism pilot project 

BRUSSELS AIRPORT: Flight attendants wearing face masks sanitise their hands inside a plane at the Zaventem International Airport today 

SWITZERLAND: Two border guards in the town of Thonex open the barrier that closed access from France as the country lifts its travel restrictions today 

AUSTRIA – Flights from UK remain banned, borders open to 31 countries from tomorrow but not Britain

BELGIUM – Borders open with Britain from today 

BULGARIA – Britons subject to 14-day quarantine, unlike most EU countries 

CYPRUS – Britons currently excluded, but likely to be admitted again in July  

DENMARK – Tourists only allowed from Iceland, Germany and Norway – notably not Britain or Sweden  

FRANCE – Arrivals from UK subject to 14-day quarantine because of Britain’s own quarantine rules 

GERMANY – Britons no longer need reason for entry from today, all land borders now open 

GREECE – UK visitors excluded from resumption of tourist season starting today  

ITALY – Travel to and from Britain allowed since June 3  

NETHERLANDS – Britons and Swedes remain banned 

SPAIN – Borders will open to EU countries and Britain on June 21

SWEDEN – Has never closed borders  

SWITZERLAND – Travel restrictions for EU and Britain lifted from today  


Motorists were queuing to enter France from Italy and Germany from Denmark this morning after emergency checks were lifted overnight.  

However, several countries including Greece are still excluding Britons because of the UK’s high death rate while Swedes are similarly unpopular in many countries. 

Britons are allowed into Germany, Belgium, Switzerland and Italy but not Greece, the Netherlands or Austria and will have to quarantine in France,

In addition, most of the continent is still closed to visitors from Asia, Africa, Oceania and the Americas – although Greece is allowing some tourists from further afield. 

France’s borders are open for travel within Europe, but Paris is insisting on reciprocity – meaning a 14-day quarantine for British visitors. 

The French government has criticised the ‘uncoordinated fashion’ in which Britain imposed the quarantine after initially saying that France would be exempt.  

At present, the UK Foreign Office is still advising Britons against ‘all non-essential international travel’ in any case. 

Announcing Monday’s reopening of borders, French president Emmanuel Macron said it is time ‘to turn the page of the first act of the crisis’ and ‘rediscover our taste for freedom’. 

But he warned: ‘This doesn’t mean the virus has disappeared and we can totally let down our guard… the summer of 2020 will be a summer unlike any other.’ 

Germany and Belgium among those opening their borders today in line with an EU directive to resume travel by mid-June. 

All nine of Germany’s land borders are open and the country is allowing flights from Italy, but not Spain until June 21. Some flights to London have continued all along and UK travellers are not banned.   

Germany and the Netherlands have both lifted their warnings against non-essential foreign travel in Europe, although Germany is advising against travelling further afield until at least August 31. 

Austria has already opened its borders to most of its neighbours and will lift travel restrictions for 31 countries tomorrow, but not including the UK or Sweden.

German chancellor Angela Merkel and her Austrian counterpart Sebastian Kurz are both planning to holiday in their homelands this year.

‘The recommendation is still, if you want to be really safe, a holiday in Austria,’ Austrian foreign minister Alexander Schallenberg told ORF television, recalling the scramble in March to bring home thousands of tourists as borders slammed shut.

‘In Austria, you know that you don’t have to cross a border if you want to get home, and you know the infrastructure and the health system well,’ he said.  

FRANCE-ITALY: French gendarmes approach a car driver at the border check point Saint-Ludovic at the Franco-Italian border, after France reopened its border to Italians

FRANCE-ITALY: A view of the border checkpoint at Saint-Ludovic today after France lifted its travel restrictions – although it is insisting on reciprocity, meaning a quarantine for Britons 

SWITZERLAND-ITALY: Italian police officers carry out checks at the Italian-Swiss border as seen from the Italian side near Como today 

PORTUGAL-SPAIN: Workers re-open the border with Portugal in the Spanish village of Salvaterra Do Mino today, in a move to ease travel restrictions for workers – although visitors will remain banned until July 1 

What European summer holidays will look like

In France, the world’s number one tourist destination, the government is banking on the French taking their holidays at home to boost the tourism sector.   

Paris, Europe’s most visited city, has gradually begun coming back to life, with cafe terraces open again. The Eiffel Tower reopens on June 25, albeit with limits on the numbers of visitors.

The Mona Lisa and other artworks will again be on view at the Louvre from July 6.

Spain’s borders remain closed today as it goes through the final stages of rolling back one of the strictest lockdowns in the world. However, Germans are allowed to visit the Balearic Islands as part of a pilot project.

Travellers will have their temperature taken on arrival under the scheme, which will be conducted according to ‘strict health guidelines’, the region has said. 

Tourism on the mainland will resume in July but masks will remain compulsory in public and closed spaces until the virus is defeated, authorities have warned. 

Italy reopened to travellers from Europe on June 3 and many of its historic sites have been reopening since May, including Saint Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican and Rome’s Colosseum.

But, just like Venice’s canals where gondolas await punters, the landmarks currently remain quiet. With tourism making up 13 percent of GDP, authorities are keen to push the Italy brand. 

Switzerland and Austria have agreed to re-open their borders with northern Italy, throwing open the Brenner Pass which is a major axis for north-south travel.   

Greece is re-open its borders to the majority of European tourists, as well as those from certain other parts of the world, including Australia, Japan and New Zealand.

However, anyone from a region particularly badly hit by the virus will have to undergo mandatory tests and spend their first night on Greek soil in a designated hotel.

These include the Paris region, Madrid and Italy’s northern Lombardy region, among others. Britons are currently excluded altogether.    

Across the country, tourists will have access to all of Greece’s tourist gems, including archaeological sites and museums, with systems in place to filter visitors at the entrance.

While open-air cinemas, nightclubs and tavernas are already open, and parasols and beach towels will have to be kept well spaced out on the sand, there is one downside – buffets are off the menu in hotels.


The Dutch government said its citizens can now visit 16 European nations, but urged caution.

‘You can go abroad for your holiday again,’ foreign minister Stef Blok said.

‘But it won’t be as carefree as before the corona crisis. The virus is still among us and the situation remains uncertain.’

Greece has gone further, allowing travellers from Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, China, Israel and Lebanon – but not Britain.  

Greece’s two main airports in Athens and Thessaloniki will reopen to arrivals from 29 countries from Monday, the start of the tourist season. Sea connections with Italy and land borders with the Balkans are also re-opening.  

Spain will only start to lift travel restrictions on June 21, re-establishing free travel with some of its fellow EU countries.

Prime minister Pedro Sanchez yesterday moved that date forward by 10 days, saying that ‘the re-opening of our frontiers is a critical moment’. 

However, Spain’s Balearic Islands are welcoming 11,000 Germans from today in a pilot project for the revival of the crucial tourism sector. 

‘This pilot programme will help us learn a lot for what lies ahead in the coming months,’ Sanchez said. 

‘We want our country, which is already known as a world-class tourist destination, to be recognised as also a secure destination.’

Sanchez said Spain’s land border with Portugal would remain closed till July 1 because Lisbon had requested it. 

Denmark opens its borders to Germany, Norway and Iceland for visitors from Monday as long as they can show they plan to stay outside the capital Copenhagen for at least six consecutive nights. 

Norway and Denmark are keeping their borders closed with Sweden, whose virus strategy avoided a lockdown but produced a high per capita death rate. 

Romania has not yet announced when it will re-open its borders to foreigners without restrictions.  

Italy, which has been among the world’s hardest hit by the new coronavirus pandemic, reopened its borders on June 3, lifting all restrictions for travellers from within Europe.

Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Slovakia and Slovenia have also already begun to lift restrictions for foreigners entering their countries but excluded those from nations they deem as not safe. 

Poland has reopened its borders to all fellow EU members and the UK from June 13. Sweden meanwhile never closed its borders to EU countries.

Neither did tiny Luxembourg – but quickly found all its neighbours closing their borders instead.  

GERMANY-DENMARK: A queue of vehicles line up to cross the border into Germany at a checkpoint in Froeslev in Denmark this morning 

GERMANY-DENMARK: A police officer watches cars queue to cross the border into Germany this morning as Germany re-opened all nine of its land borders 

SWITZERLAND-FRANCE: Swiss customs officers open a fence at the Swiss-French border in the town of Thonex on the Swiss side, near the French town of Ambilly 

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