Representatives of Spain in France called on France “not to stir up fears and anxieties.” On the Portuguese side, the tone is more measured, considering that “the concerns of a friendly state like France” were “understandable”.
“A word of caution.” Thursday, the Secretary of State for European Affairs, Clément Beaune urged the French who have not yet booked their holidays “to avoid Spain, Portugal” in the face of the spread of the Delta variant. “It is a recommendation on which I insist, it is better to stay in France or go to other countries,” he added.
Since then, the representatives of the two countries in France have multiplied reassuring messages to the attention of French tourists, affirming that there was “nothing to fear”.
Do not “stir up anxieties, fears”
In the afternoon on Thursday, the Spanish Ambassador to France, José Manuel Albares Bueno reassured French tourists on BFMTV:
“I encourage all French people who wish to go this summer to Spain in strict compliance with the sanitary measures in force” in the country, thus affirmed the representative of the kingdom, assuring that “no, there is nothing to fear for French tourists if they want to go to Spain “.
José Manuel Albares also called for “not to weaken the tourism sector, hoteliers, restaurateurs”, stressing that they had been “heavily hit by the Covid, so we must not stir up fears and anxieties.”
“We must all act with great caution and consultation between European partners. Stirring up anxieties, fears, that does not help at all. What is useful is to consult and act after reflection,” he said. he added to our colleagues from AFP.
Towards new “specific measures”
Daniel Camós, delegate of the Government of Catalonia in France repeated this message Friday, at the microphone of Europe 1, promising that the region was a “safe tourist destination”.
“In France, the proportion of young people who are vaccinated is higher, but the proportion of the entire population vaccinated in Catalonia is now much higher”, he noted, adding that new “specific measures” were going to be taken, without mentioning which ones.
Daniel Camós assures us that the French can, notably with the European QR code, “go to Spain in complete safety”.
Portugal raises “understandable” concerns
On the Portuguese side, the tone is more measured. Recognizing that the health situation in his country had “worsened”, Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva argued Thursday that “the concerns of a friendly state like France” were “understandable”.
“This is advice,” he told Lusa, adding that members of the Portuguese community in France could return home because the trips were among the trips deemed essential.
Portugal has also widened the use of the health pass since Friday. The Portuguese must now present a health pass or a negative coronavirus test to stay in a hotel or have access to restaurants in the regions most affected by the upsurge of the Covid-19 epidemic.
The nighttime curfew imposed since last Friday continues to apply in risk areas, mainly concentrated in Lisbon and its surroundings, then in the tourist region of the Algarve (south).
Esther Paolini with AFP BFMTV reporter