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Some Spaniards ‘slightly’ concerned by UK Covid-19 rates as tourists return

Salamanca Cathedral Pic by Eyleen Gomez

By Shaun Connolly, PA Political Correspondent

A Spanish minister has said there is “slight” concern from some in his country about UK coronavirus rates as Spain opens its borders to British tourists again.

Manuel Muniz, of Spain’s foreign ministry, said UK tourists will need to undergo a temperature check, a visible check and fill in a health form.

Asked if some people in Spain were worried about infection rates in the UK now being higher than in their own country, Mr Muniz said: “Slightly.

“But these are still low numbers of circulation.

“So, Spain is now a particularly safe place because we have undergone a very strict quarantine and confinement period.”

While British tourists travelling to Spain will not have to quarantine in the country, anyone returning to the UK would still need to quarantine for 14 days under the Government plans for nearly all new arrivals.

Mr Muniz said: “From the point of view of Spain we have always thought that we would open our border to the UK at the same time as we did with the rest of the European member states, which we have.

“We see the numbers in the UK also coming down, so there was no health reason for us to impose that quarantine on Brits coming in.”

Mr Muniz said that health authorities would conduct a follow-up for the following 14 days.

Mr Muniz told the BBC: “Basically, they are going to see three fundamental checks at the border.

“So, there’s a temperature check.

“There will be a visual check of everybody arriving.

“And, they will have to fill in a health form where they are going to have to indicate any symptoms they might have had in the prior days. Any contact with Covid-19 confirmed cases.

“And they are going to have to leave their contact details, and there will be a follow-up for the following 14 days from the health authorities just to see how they are doing and if they have developed any symptoms while in Spain.”

Mr Muniz said some 20 healthcare protocols had been put in place for the tourism sector, such as the availability of hand gels.

He said: “The experience will not be radically different, but it will be safer.”

Spain announced it was reopening its borders following a strict lockdown after being hit hard by coronvirus.