France calls on its citizens to abandon holidays in Portugal and Spain, where the epidemiological situation has worsened. So far, this is only a recommendation, but the authorities do not rule out that they may impose travel restrictions.
These countries of the Pyrenean Peninsula have fallen out of favor, according to Euronews, due to the rapid increase in the number of new infections with the Delta strain. Portugal, with a population of 10 million, has 2,000 infections every day. In just a month, this figure has quadrupled.
The Portuguese authorities are trying to cope with a new wave of infections. Security measures have been tightened in 45 cities, including Porto and Lisbon: curfews are in effect from 23:00 to 05:00, restaurants are open until 22:30, and travel is limited on weekends. From Saturday, hotels will only be accommodated with a negative test or vaccination document. Given the situation, Clement Bon, Secretary of State for European Affairs at the French Foreign Ministry, addressed his compatriots:
“For those who have not booked their holiday yet, we urge them to avoid Spain and Portugal in their plans. This is advice and recommendation, which I insist on as a precaution: it is better to stay in France or go to other countries. But here we have a particularly alarming situation. especially in Portugal, although it is fortunately taking action. “
Meanwhile, Spain is seriously worried about “losing the summer.” The Spanish tourism sector is already beginning to feel all the consequences associated with the increase in the incidence of coronavirus. Now, after the recommendations voiced by the French authorities, entrepreneurs fear to lose the season. The owner of a surf school in Barcelona says:
“Yes, we will suffer one hundred percent because of this. Usually in August we have a peak of foreign tourists.”
The owner of the bar next to the school fully agrees with him:
“The closure of the establishment looms. If the number of tourists remains stable in the future, we will not keep the business.”
Germany admits that it can declare Spain a risk zone, and tourists returning home will be required to take tests to avoid quarantine. More recently, however, it has eased restrictions on travelers arriving from Portugal. This decision is in no way consistent with the reaction of the French authorities and once again proves that each EU country has its own approach. Despite the introduction of the European covid certificate, inconsistencies in travel between EU member states persist.
But the British authorities go to meet the interests of travelers. As early as July 19, the country intends to lift most of the coronavirus restrictions. Having received a full course of vaccination, the British will be able to return to their homeland without any conditions accompanying this process, but only from the so-called “green” and “orange” countries.
Meanwhile, Greece is experiencing a steady growth of infections in recent days, which led to a reaction from the authorities and an emergency statement from the Ministry of Citizens’ Protection.
The head of civil protection Nikos Hardalias held an extraordinary press conference. He announced that from July 8 (Thursday), all bars, clubs and other entertainment venues will only be allowed to serve seated guests. He then argued for higher fines to be levied on owners who fail to adhere to security protocols. According to him, if violations are found in nightclubs, the institutions will be fined 500 euros and closed for 7 days, a repeated violation will lead to higher fines (15,000 euros), and the third – to the closure of the institution.
Hardalias statedthat the cause of the new wave was the Delta strain, which is especially actively spreading among young people, and this happens in bars and clubs:
“The delta mutation began to prevail, and the unvaccinated were in danger. Since last Monday, we have recorded a spike in new cases that have nearly tripled. They have been found mainly in young people and mainly in recreational activities in clubs and bars, which contributes to the transmission of infection. “