Spain Officially Ends State of Emergency, Reopens Borders

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Spain lifted its state of emergency Sunday, ending a lockdown that began in March in an attempt to contain the coronavirus.

As of Sunday evening, Spain has had 246,272 positive coronavirus cases, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. That total places Spain seventh in the world and third in Europe.

Spain had 28, 323 deaths, according to the site. The nation is fourth in deaths in Europe and sixth globally.

Residents of all European Union countries except Portugal are now able to enter Spain without having to quarantine themselves, according to Reuters. The same holds true for Britain, but British citizens who visit Spain face a 14-day quarantine when they return home, Reuters reported.

Spanish Foreign Affairs Minister Arancha González Laya is hopeful that a mutual agreement can be worked out to avoid quarantines in either country, according to Yahoo Finance.

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“We do hope that [the British authorities] will be sensitive to the 250,000 Spaniards that are also living in the UK and would very much like to enter the UK without quarantine,” she said, Yahoo Finance reported.

Spain’s announcement provoked a debate on Twitter.

Spain’s border with Portugal is scheduled to open July 1, Reuters reported.

Tourists entering Spain will have to explain where they have been recently, provide contact information should they need to be traced, and have their temperatures taken.

The end of the state of emergency meant that for the first time since March 14, Spaniards could leave the provinces where they live.

“Today it’s all getting a bit back to normal. It’s good for the shops, for the economy, for everything,” Valencia shop owner Luis Mancho.

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Spain is still urging residents and visitors to use social distancing and requires masks worn in public.

“We must remain on our guard and strictly follow hygiene and protection measures,” said Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, according to the BBC.

He noted that the risk of a second wave of infections “must be avoided at all costs.”

Tourism is vital to Spain, and makes up 12 percent of the nation’s GDP, according to the U.K. Guardian.

Tourism Minister Reyes Maroto said it will take time to make tourists feel they can safely travel to Spain without fear of getting the coronavirus.

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