On the golden sands of Rosas, a small Catalan town, at less than 30 km from the border with France, the beach is so long that no control of influx will be put in place, tens of meters separating each towel.
June 21, 2020 11h49
To Roses in Spain, foreigners taste the “new normal” tourist
ROSES TO the terrace of his tapas bar adjacent to the huge range of Roses, Pilar Romanach was never as glad to serve sangrias : “this is the sign that the foreign tourists are back in Spain, she said Sunday at the reopening of the borders.
On the golden sand of this small Catalan town, at less than 30 km from the border with France, this is the time to take it easy for première in the summer : the beach is so long that no control of influx will be put in place, tens of meters separating each towel…
And already, the aliens sitting at the terrace of the old bar “Ribereta” taste what the government has called the “new normal” in Spain, the second tourist destination in the world after France.
No mask on the terrace, but inside the setpoint remains of the bear, as well as in the open air when it is not possible to maintain a safety distance of 1.5 m.
The state of alert declared in mid-march has just been raised in one of the countries most hit by the pandemic, has made more than 28 300 dead. After a containment severe 14 weeks, the country breathes, finally, behind its masks.
At midnight, Spain has reopened the land border with France, as well as its ports and airports to nationals of the EU, without imposing quarantine. The British also, which form one of the largest contingents of tourists, are welcome.
“Pili” is discovered suddenly “very pleased to greet new French”.
“We live in the French tourism here. The pandemic had not even left the time at some shops open and many say that they won’t even open this summer,” she said, while many hotels will remain closed until July 3.
Complete with blue gloves and a black mask, Pilar Romanach called the customers “to take a lot of precautions, because that stuff is not finished”…
“Sun, beach and tapas”
French accent Avignon, Sylvia Faust, has crossed the border as of Saturday night with her daughter of 17 years, well before midnight : “we were checked and let in. We slept in a holiday apartment. We wanted to be in Spain for the sun, the beach, the tapas, and I already have my swimsuit under my clothes,” laughs the manager of 43 years, in shorts and sandals.
Roses account for some 20 000 inhabitants, including many foreigners, active or retired. A number that can be multiplied by more than four in the summer, when “a flood of tourists” invading the most popular cities of the Costa brava.
In the creek of Canyelles, where she comes to bathe and where she has “never seen so many small fish in the rocks”, Marie-Hélène Laffont, the former secretary is 72 years old, living in Roses throughout the year, said to have lived a history of containment, particularly “lucky, happy, sunny”.
The state of alert had a surprise in Greece with her husband Spanish. “It has been repatriated with an exceptional convoy of 35 camping-cars on a ferry on the 1st of may, and then we spent the rest of the containment here.”
“Of the 36 apartments of our building, only five or six are occupied. Most of the French will come the next weekend”, she thinks.
For the Spaniards themselves, who can finally move throughout the country, this first Sunday of summer also marks a time of reunion with family and the beginning of the holidays “in the country”.
“I have not done the screening test for the coronavirus that Thursday: negative!”, smiles Neus Jove, 43 years old, a member of the medical personnel that has confronted the pandemic. “So today, I was able to take my parents in my arms for the first time since march 12,” she said, on the seafront promenade of Roses, where she follows her son who plunges off a dock in the Mediterranean.