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Spanish health minister bans British holidaymakers 'until UK's coronavirus situation improves'

MADRID, SPAIN - JANUARY 07: Minister of Industry Maria Reyes Maroto is seen arriving to the Parliament for the second vote of the investiture of the socialist candidate for the presidency of the Government, Pedro Sanchez, in the 14th legislature on January 07, 2020 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Jesús Hellín/Europa Press via Getty Images)
Maria Reyes Maroto is Spain's tourism minister. (Getty)

Spain will refuse entry to British holidaymakers until the UK’s coronavirus situation improves, the country’s tourism minister has said.

Maria Reyes Maroto said despite reports of a possible trial reopening which could see thousands of tourists from several nations pour into Spain, Britons would have to wait to be allowed to take holidays there.

The tourism minister revealed that Germany and the Nordic countries were most likely to be first because their “epidemiological situations are very good”.

But when asked about the UK, she reportedly said: “There the health situation still has to improve.

PALMA DE MALLORCA, SPAIN - MAY 25: Swimmers on a beach in Palma during the first day of Phase 2, when it is possible to access beaches in the same province, island or territorial unit of reference established in the de-climbing plan, and when the town halls may establish limitations on access, which in any case will be free, and on capacity to ensure that the interpersonal distance of at least two metres between swimmers is respected. This Monday, Mallorca, Menorca and Ibiza will move on to phase 2 of the government's de-climbing plan, one week after Formentera, which advanced its access to this phase on the 18th of May, just like the islands of El Hierro, La Gomera and La Graciosa in the Canary Islands on May 25, 2020 in Palma de Mallorca, Spain.  (Photo by Isaac Buj/Europa Press via Getty Images)
Swimmers on a beach in Palma, Mallorca as the country begins to ease lockdown measures. (Getty)

“For us it is important to guarantee that people arrive healthy and leave healthy.”

Earlier this month, Reyes Maroto had offered hope to Britons wanting to visit the Iberian nation this summer by saying: “It is perfectly coherent to plan summer vacations to come to Spain in July."

At the moment the Foreign and Commonwealth Office advises against all but essential travel abroad.

Under the terms of the trial reopening, as many as 3,000 German tourists could be allowed to enter the Balearic Islands from June 16 onwards.

The Canary Islands, Costa Blanca and Costa del Sol could also be included in the test-run, Reyes Maroto added.

It comes after Greece and Cyprus banned British tourists because of the UK’s poor coronavirus record.

The Greek government said earlier this month it will accept tourists from 29 countries when it reopens its border in June - but the UK did not make the list.

Far-flung countries given the green light include Australia, Japan, Israel, China, New Zealand, and South Korea.

Greek tourism minister Haris Theoharis previously said that the UK's record on coronavirus meant it wouldn't make the cut.

He said: “I think that the UK has a big difference in terms of the current medical status of the country with Greece, so I don’t think it’s likely it will be there."

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