Dr Fernando Simón, Director, Centre for Coordination of Health Alerts & Emergencies. | Kiko Huesca


Dr Fernando Simón, Director of the Centre for the Coordination of Health Alerts & Emergencies, has apologised to the Tourism Sector for any offence caused by what he said recently about tourists not coming to Spain.

Dr Simón was heavily criticised by opposition parties and the Tourism Sector and there were calls for his immediate resignation over his comments that tourists from Belgium and British tourists not coming to Spain reduced the risk of infection.

From a Health point of view these decisions help us and it is a risk that they take away from us," he said referring to the UK’s quarantine on travellers from Spain and he still insists that the risks involved must be taken seriously.

"It's not that we need to prevent tourists from coming, but we must assess the associated risks, just as others must assess the risks that may be associated with Spanish tourists," said Dr Simón. "If you feel offended, then I'm very sorry and I apologise," he reiterated, adding that “the weight of the Tourism Sector on the Spanish economy is obvious.”

Dr Simón was also questioned about the controversy over his recent holiday in Portugal, during which he was photographed surfing in Carrapataira, in the Algarve, whilst coronavirus outbreaks were increasing in Spain.

"It's part of my personal life," said Simon, who felt it was “bad taste” to ask about that during a public appearance to explain the technical aspects of Covid-19 in Spain.

"Other than that, I'm not going to say anything else, if people are moderately reasonable, they will value what they have to value and those who are unreasonable will value it as they want.”