FILE PHOTOS: People enjoy fine weather on the coast of Barceloneta, after regional authorities of Catalonia and the city council announced restrictions to restrain the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Barcelona, Spain July 19, 2020. REUTERS / Nacho Doce / Photo File
BERLIN (Reuters) – The German foreign ministry on Friday advised people not to travel to the northern Spanish region of Catalonia, Navarre and Aragon, because of fears that travel could bring a second wave of COVID-19 infections.
The Robert Koch Institute, a German public health agency, places all three regions of Spain on a list of high-risk locations, which means people returning to Germany are required to quarantine for 14 days or give a negative corona virus test.
With the increasing number of viruses in Germany, concerns are growing that tourists returning from destinations experiencing a surge in new cases can spread the infection quickly. Germany reported 870 cases of the corona virus on Friday, the highest daily total since mid-May.
Starting next week, Germany plans to make a mandatory corona virus test at the airport for all tourists returning from high-risk areas to slow the spread of infection.
The travel warning is the latest blow to the Spanish economy, which is already in a steep recession and is dependent on tourism for 12.3% of its economic output. Germany makes about 5% of tourists to Catalonia’s main city, Barcelona in 2019, according to the city’s tourism activity report.
Germany’s travel warnings are following in the steps by other European countries to limit travel from Spain, especially Britain, which is the largest share of foreign visitors. It has introduced a 14-day quarantine on all arrivals from Spain and recommends it to all but important trips to mainland Spain. Norway also enforces a 10-day quarantine.
France has advised against traveling to Catalonia.
Reporting by Caroline Copley; Additional reporting by Emma Pinedo Gonzalez in Madrid; Editing by Michelle Martin and Peter Graff