Spain is upholding a ban on cruise ships from docking at Spanish seaports in order to stop the spread of COVID-19, a ministerial order published on Saturday, June 27, said.
Cruise vessels carrying thousands of passengers regularly stop off at the ports in Canary Islands, Balearic Islands, Malaga and Barcelona, but were prohibited when the country went into lockdown on March 14, 2020. Caryying mainly elderly passengers, these cruise liners have been especially vulnerable to virus outbreaks and have been barred from disembarking in a number of EU countries.
Spain's ban on cruise ships will continue until the Coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic is brought under control, the Official State Gazette announced, even as the country reopens to tourists in an effort to revive the industry hammered by the lockdown.
The ban's retention has been described as a “proportionate, objective and non-discriminatory measure that is in line with the objective set by the WHO Emergency Committee to stop the spread of the virus”, the order stated, referring to the WHO (World Health Organization).
Cruise ships form part of the tourist sector of Spain which contributes a total of 12% of GDP.
Last year, 10 million cruise passengers visited the country.