Simon Manley during his speech/. Picture: British Embassy
Eduardo González. Madrid
The Government of the United Kingdom is convinced that the first case of Ebola infection outside Africa will not affect British tourism in Spain and he has expressed his “confidence in the efforts” made by the Spanish Government to face the crisis.
According to the United Kingdom’s Ambassador in Madrid, Simon Manley, around 15 million British people spend the summer in Spain every year and approximately 300,000 live permanently in our country. “Spain is a country the British have in their hearts”, he declared. “I do not think there will be any changes in that regard” because of the Ebola virus, he added during a breakfast briefing organized by New Economy Forum.
Manley did not want to make any statements about the way the Spanish authorities are acting in this case, for being this a “domestic issue”, but he did express his “trust in the efforts” made by the Government to face the “complicated situation” created by the infection of the Spanish auxiliary nurse Teresa Romero.
In its last review on travelling recommendations for Spain, the Foreign Office warns that “on 6 October, the Spanish Ministry of Health confirmed a nurse of Madrid had tested positive for the Ebola virus”.
The United Kingdom’s Ambassador expresses his trust in the Spanish Government
“Although the possibilities of being infected are still very low, there is a series of measures that must be adopted to avoid infection”, measures that, he explains, are among “the recommendations published by the National Travel Health Network and Centre”. “If you are worried about the possibility of being exposed to the Ebola virus or in the case of any symptoms appearing, look for medical advice immediately”, the British Ministry of Foreign Affairs continues.
Last Wednesday, the minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, José Manuel García-Margallo, declared during a press conference at the Ministry in Madrid that he had “absolutely no doubt” that the Government had done “what it had to do” when it repatriated the two ill missionaries infected with the Ebola virus, since “all the serious countries” have done the same with their infected compatriots.
Besides, regarding the controversy caused by the infection of one of the nurses attending the missionary Manuel García Viejo (deceased in Madrid after being repatriated with Ebola virus), the minister affirmed that the plan of action followed by the diplomatic staff involved in the two repatriations was “impeccable” and that “the Spanish health system is the third one in the world as regards quality”.
For her part, the secretary of State for Budget, Marta Fernández Currás, stated last Wednesday that the Ebola crisis should not affect investments or the tourist sector in Spain. “Thinking that this is going to take a toll is a much hasty analysis”, she affirmed. “It is an isolated case”, she added, quoted in a statement.