PRESS RELEASE 055
Ministry of Foreign Affairs has helped almost 24,000 Spanish travellers return since state of alarm decreed in Spain
17/04/2020
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation has helped almost 24,000 Spaniards return home since the state of alarm was decreed in Spain as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Although most of these managed to return by commercial travel with the assistance of embassies and consulates, many returned on the 40 or so flights directly organised by Spain. To date, 35 operations have been performed, in addition to one more from Peru (18 April), one from Equatorial Guinea (21 April), one from the Philippines (23 April), one from Argentina (27 April), one from Australia (30 April) and a few others that we are working on from Bolivia and Colombia, by way of example. 

In recent days, of particular note were a flight from Senegal with 107 passengers which was chartered by a company in Murcia (47 Spaniards, 52 Senegalese with Spanish residency, and other EU citizens); the departure on Thursday of another flight from Venezuela with 275 passengers on-board, among which were 50 Spaniards; the arrival on Friday of another flight from Buenos Aires (making a total of five flights from Argentina) with 287 European passengers on-board of which 279 were Spanish; and finally, also on Friday morning, a flight landed in Malaga from Helsinki with 20 students on-board, bringing the total number of Spaniards arriving from Finland this week to 59.

During this time, Spain has been able to repatriate a large number of other Europeans, in the same way that many Spaniards have been able to return on flights chartered by other European countries, through the European Civil Protection Mechanism. The European Commission estimates that more than 26,000 Europeans have been able to return using this Mechanism. 

At the ministerial department, we continue in our endeavours to help all those Spanish travellers who have expressed their wish to return to Spain. In order to step up this effort, the Emergency Consular Department have been boosted by 140 civil service volunteers, to attend to calls from their fellow countrymen abroad, which is also operational at weekends and during the night. The department received some 45,000 calls between 10 March and 10 April. 

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation has also set up the ‘Aloja’ [Accommodation] platform aimed at facilitating contact between Spaniards resident overseas and Spanish tourists who seek temporary accommodation, through which 427 Spaniards overseas have offered accommodation, while 415 people have sought accommodation, in the two weeks since it was set up on 3 April. 

-NON OFFICIAL TRANSLATION-​​

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