Poland, Spain discuss easing COVID-19 border controls

With the word out that June 15 might be the day on which the borders lockdown could be lifted, Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz’s telephone discussion with his Spanish counterpart Arancha Gonzalez Laya raises hopes in that regard.

The FMs discussed plans to ease border control regulations and internal restrictions in their countries. Mr Czaputowicz outlined Poland's transit regulations for foreigners and steps undertaken to protect the national economy from the effects of the epidemic.

However, as the Spanish “El Pais” daily reported on Thursday, “Spain has not set a date to reopen its borders to tourists, and just recently introduced a 14-day quarantine for international travellers, which will be in place until at least June 7, when the current state of alarm is set to end.”

Mr Czaputowicz and Mr Gonzalez Laya also spoke about the epidemic's effects on tourism in the context of the approaching summer holidays, and EU support for the member countries' economies.

Poland, just like Spain, has opted for domestic tourism in this year of unusual circumstances. However, the former has been considering allowing touristic travels to Visegrad Group (V4) countries, should the epidemiological situation not deteriorate.

As the other heavily tourism-reliant country of the region, Italy, has reactivated almost all business activity in the country and will open its borders to tourists on June 3, the Spanish government has decided to play it safe, “El Pais” wrote. The country’s government will not allow domestic travel until at least the end of June.

Meanwhile, the Polish national flag carrier LOT Polish Airlines announced in mid-May that it would resume some of its domestic flights from June 1. Passengers will be able to fly on some of Poland’s busiest routes again, including from Warsaw to cities such as Gdańsk, Kraków and Poznań. Continuing the conversation, Poland and Spain’s FMs stated the importance of bilateral relations between the two countries and declared the will of their governments to develop them in the future despite limitations posed by the epidemic. In this context, they pointed to the broad social contacts between Poland and Spain, including broad-scale student exchanges.

Spain has the fourth largest number of coronavirus cases, with as many as 283,339 confirmed infections. Italy is sixth with 230,555 cases. Poland stands as 35th with 22,074 reported cases.