It’s a summer of sun, sea and COVID certificates in Spain as the country prepares to welcome international tourists back in June.
Spain is set to introduce a new COVID digital health certificate scheme that could kickstart its ailing tourism sector as early as June. At the World Travel & Tourism Council summit in Mexico on Tuesday, Fernando Valdés, Spain’s secretary of state for tourism, said Spain is preparing to welcome back tourists using the digital certificates from June, with a pilot programme launching in the country’s airports in May.
The digital certificate would show proof that the traveler has been either fully vaccinated against COVID-19, has tested negatively for the virus or has indeed recovered from it. “Spain is going to be ready in June to tell all travellers worldwide that you can visit us,” Valdes told the summit, according to reports by Spanish news agency Europa Press.
Earlier this year, the EU set out proposals for COVID-19 digital certificates, or health passports, to track COVID-19 tests and vaccinations to allow for cross-border tourism within Europe, and the European Parliament is set to vote on the proposals today.
The EU is also in talks with the US on allowing vaccinated Americans to visit Europe this summer.
Social distancing measures are likely to still be in place in public spaces ©Alberto Loyo/Shutterstock
Spain is the world’s second-most visited destination after France and receives 80 million international visitors per year. When a state of emergency was declared on 25 March 2020 and borders were sealed, the tourism sector—which accounts for roughly 12% of the country’s GDP—came to a standstill.
While the threat of the virus is still present and curfew and other restrictions remain in place throughout Spain, the country is looking ahead. The Spanish government is hoping to have 70% of the adult population vaccinated by the end of summer. Currently 22% of adults of had at least their first vaccine jab, according to El País.
This article was first published on May 25, 2020 and updated on April 28, 2021.
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