Travel to Malaga, Costa del Sol, Andalucia, Spain

Can I Travel to Malaga, Andalucia and Spain?

31-05-2020 Pedro Sánchez, Prime minister announced that he will request Congress for the sixth and final State of Alarm renewal up to 21-06-2020. By which time most of Spain will have passes stage 3 and be in the 'new normality'. It is understood the intention after 21-06-2020 is to pass the responsibility over to the Regional Governments and health authorities.

The 14-day quarantine imposed on all foreign tourists could end on 21-06-2020 a government source told TVE, but it will depend of the EU agreements. It was previously announced to finish on 01-07-2020. Francina Armengol, President of Balearic islands stated that Pedro Sánchez had agreed to end this restriction on international tourist arrivals on that date as well. Sanchez said in a TV address on Sunday that the approach is to lift the quarantine when the state of alarm ends so that "in July many foreign tourists can be received in Spain with security guarantees, for them and for the population as a whole ".

30-05-2020 The Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, in an interview with EFE confirmed the Spanish Government is working on safe corridor projects so that in the second half of June some regions, currently Balearic and Canary Islands, can receive foreign tourists, possibly German and Nordic, as a first step to open Spanish borders to international tourists on 01-07-2020.

23-05-2020 Pedro Sanchez, Prime Minister announced that international tourists would be able to return to Spain in July. He was not specific on date nor conditions. He basically repeated Teresa Ribera words of 21-05-2020 (see below) being conditional on secure options. He also said that Spaniards should start planning their own holidays from the end of June.

15-05-2020  The current Spanish international arrival ban on all except Spanish, their spouses, long term foreign residents was renewed until 15-06-2020.  Cross-border workers, carriers and crews, as well as health professionals who are going to carry out their work, are excepted from these measures, provided they have not been in contact with people diagnosed with Coronavirus  The EU also renewed their ban on EU arrivals and suggested an air bridge between safe inter EU destinations could be developed. 

12-05-2020 - All travelers from abroad must enter a 14-day quarantine from Friday 15-05-2020 as published in the BOE on 12-05-2020. People must remain at home or in hotels / apartments and must limit their local travel essential such as buying food or vising chemist or doctor and must wear a mask. Travel agencies and tour operators must advise clients of these measures. Airlines will require passengers to complete a ‘Passenger Location card', for contact details and the address of the quarantine. The health authorities may contact and monitor the people in quarantine. This applies to Spaniards, and foreign residents or anybody entering Spain.

This quarantine notice updates the previous rule that travel from any country by land or sea or air into Spain was not permitted for tourism or leisure since the Spanish government under the special powers granted under the State of Alert, The land borders with France & Portugal (but not Gibraltar* nor Andorra) and all Sea ports were closed to all inbound non essential passengers on 18-03-2020. Roadblock are being maintained 24/7. The airports such as Malaga were closed a few days later, the delay was to allow commercial flights to operate and help tourists (and others including foreign residents) to leave Spain. The only people who can enter Spain are cross border workers, health care professionals, freight transport drivers, diplomats, or those on imperative family duty.

There are presently no international commercial flights to or from Malaga, Seville, Jerez, Granada, or Almeria. There some flights to UK from Madrid, Barcelona and Gibraltar. However airlines such as Ryan Air, Condor and Lufthansa had announced starting routes from June. See below.  

Gibraltar to Spain border is open, but to enter Spain non Spanish nationals need proof of Spanish residency and in the case of frontier workers, those with Gibraltar contracts (essential workers only)." See Gibraltar Government notice

Having acted unilaterally on 23-04-2020 Spain joined the EU in restricting all non-essential travel from outside the the EU and the Schengen Zone. The current EU Commission's position is "We invite EU countries to prolong the temporary restriction on non-essential travel to the EU until 15 May."  This was extended to 15-06-2020. 

What about internal travel in Spain?

RENFE the train operator cancelling all tickets previously issued from Wednesday 18-03-2020 to the end of the state of alarm crisis. New schedules were published with only 50% of trains limited to 30% seating capacity.  No buffet car nor refreshment trolly services. . Busses locally and nationally operate a 50% reduced schedule and the front three rows must be kept free for the protection of the driver. Travel is permitted for work and reasons outlined in the lockdown decree. In Phase One of the de-escalation plan, travel is permitted within the province for leisure and for visiting a second residence. Only in Phase 3 is leisure inter-provincial travel permitted.  On 23-05-2020 Pedro Sanchez, Prime Minister said that Spaniards should start planning their own holidays from the end of June.

When will I be able to travel to Malaga / Costa del Sol / Andalucia /Spain?

30-05-2020 The Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, in an interview with EFE confirmed the Spanish Government is working on safe corridor projects so that in the second half of June some regions, currently Balearic and Canary Islands, can receive foreign tourists, possibly German and Nordic, as a first step to open Spanish borders to international tourists on 01-07-2020.

23-05-2020 Pedro Sanchez, Prime Minister announced that international tourists would be able to return to Spain in July. He was not specific on date nor conditions. being conditional on secure options. Since any EU arrangement will not be in place by this date it will require bi-lateral arrangements with selected countries.

At the present time only a few airlines have announced plans to restart flights. Ryanair 40% of flights from 01-07-2020.  Condor airline has announced the restarting of flights on 25-06-2020 from Frankfurt to 29 holiday destinations including Jerez de la Frontera. Lufthansa had announced starting routes from June to five Spanish airports including Malaga.

Spain had one of most sever lockdowns in Europe. For two weeks only those in essential services could even work. Things have started to be relaxed. here is a schedule, extrapolate it if you dare.

13-04-2020 Monday
Non essential worker allowed to return to work, if they can not work form home and are able to maintain 2m social distance.

26-04-2020 Sunday
Under 14s (accompanied) have been allowed a one hour exercise break.

02-05-2020 Saturday
Spanish President of the Government (Prime Minister), Pedro Sanchez has announced that everyone will be allowed to go out for exercise and for walks starting on May 2 if coronavirus figures go down. The de-escalation will occur at different speeds depending on the situation in each region. The prime minister added that the central government will be responsible for the de-escalation plan, despite complaints from regional leaders, a reference to Andalucia. "This is not a race to see who is the first to reopen a shopping mall" declared Sanchez.

In Phase One of the de-escalation plan, travel is permitted within the province for leisure and  for visiting a second residence.

21-05-2020 Teresa Ribera the Spanish Government Minister responsible for the de-escalation plan said in an interview with EFE (state press agency ) regarding the return of international tourists, “Our idea is that we could work with safe origins and destinations and this is more likely to be in July than June.”

23-05-2020 Pedro Sanchez, Prime Minister announced that international tourists would be able to return to Spain in July. He was not specific on date nor conditions. He basically repeated Teresa Ribera words of 21-05-2020 (see above) being conditional on secure options. He also said that Spaniards should start planning their own holidays from the end of June.

 

When it be safe to travel to Malaga / Costa del Sol / Andalucia /Spain?

Tuesday 28-04-2020 the "Plan for the Transition to a new Normality" was revealed: four stages over 8 weeks on a province by province basis. Tourist international arrivals were not mentioned in the plan.

21-04-2020
Manuel Moreno, the President of the Junta de Andalucia announced his plan was to open the beaches this summer with limits on numbers. He said in a TV interview that this could be accomplished with local police supervising. Families would need to maintain distancing rules and once a beach reached a limit, no more people would be allowed on the beach. He said that he had already told Pedro Sanchez, that the towns and ‘comarcas' of Andalucia could be the first to be released from the lockdown since the Coronavirus confirmed cases and deaths, especially in Huelva and Almeria province were less than other parts of Spain

23-04-2020
Andalucia regional minister for Tourism, Juan Marín, "We are working on a plan that it will be reasonable to open certain activity in May," he said, adding that hotels could open in June. Tourism ministers tend to talk to the industry and not to tourists;  Marin is no exception, Regional ministry's strategy includes measures that are estimated to have a positive impact of 243 million euros on the tourism sector and 740 million euros on Andalucía's economy as a whole.  The regional authority's recovery strategy also includes a 2.25-million-euro spend on tourism promotion for Andalucía.

28-04-2020
Duly on the evening of Tuesday 28-04-2020 the "Plan for the Transition to a new Normality"  was revealed: four stages over 8 weeks on a province by province basis. Tourist arrivals are not mentioned.  

08-05-2020
The Ministry of Sanidad (Health) announced, the provinces that would pass to Phase One on Monday 11-05-2020. In Andalucia Huelva, Sevilla, Cadiz, Cordoba, Jaén and Almeria provinces will pass to Phase One on Monday. Malaga (which includes the Costa del Sol ) and Granada will not. In total 51% of the population of Spain will pass to Phase One on Monday. Madrid and most of Catalonia will not. Phase One includes the opening of bar terraces to 50% capacity and meetings of up to ten people.

Jose Luque of Fuerte Hotels Group, has said that they will not open before this in any case. "We are not planning to open before the new normality, that is to say 01-07-2020 because there will be no inter-provincial movement. In the Costa del Sol we are 65% dependent on international tourists and 35% national."

In Phase One of the de-escalation plan locals can visit hotels in the same province as where they reside. The communal areas (lounge inside bar, gyms) will not be open until Phase Two. Inter-Provincial travel is not permitted until 'New Normality' (post Phase Three). 

Currently there is restriction of non-essential travel for people entering Spanish territory until midnight on 15-06-2020 and essential travellers and Returning Nationals and long term residents from abroad must enter a 14-day quarantine

Airlines and package holiday companies are cancelling flights for late May and June on a progressive basis.  The Spanish and Costa del Sol hotel industry is working on the basis that this summer their market is National tourism. Most hoteliers on the Costa del Sol believe there will be few international tourists in the summer of 2020 and the season will not start again until Easter 2021.  

21-05-2020
Teresa Ribera the Spanish Government Minister responsible for the de-escalation plan said in an interview with EFE (state press agency ) regarding the return of international tourists, “Our idea is that we could work with safe origins and destinations and this is more likely to be in July than June.”

If all goes according tho the present de-escalation schedule in Phase Three from the 08-06-2020 (Huelva, Sevilla, Cordoba, Jaen, Cadiz, Almeria) and the 15-06-2020 (Malaga, Costa del Sol, Granada) Andalucia and Spanish residents will be able to travel internally between provinces i.e.  leave the province where they live. It is looking increasingly likely that in July international tourists will be able to enter Andalucia.  Perhaps just those travelling from Germanany and Scandanavia in the first fortnight.

 

 

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