Pack your bags for a summer holiday as Spain yesterday announced that it is ready to welcome tourists from all over the world starting 7th June 2021. This comes after the European Union agreed to reopen its borders to vaccinated travellers.
Eligible travellers will have to show a digital proof of vaccination, a negative COVID-19 test or proof that they recently recovered from the virus.
From June 7, tourists from other countries with which there is not complete free movement (non-EU), among them the United States, will be able to enter Spain provided they count on a certificate showing they have received their full COVID-19 vaccinations.said Pedro Sanchez, Prime Minister of Spain.
The prime minister also delivered the message in English so that, in his own words, they reached the international press saying:
I am pleased to inform you that the ministerial order will be officially published today exempting citizens from the UK and other countries such as New Zealand, South Korea, or China from temporary restrictions for non-essential trips to Spain,” he said. “I can therefore announce that from next Monday, May 24, Spain will be delighted to receive British tourists again into our country.
Spain will be taking part in European Union’s digital COVID-19 health certificate this month. The country aims to implement it in time for the June 7 reopening.
Spain is going to be ready in June to use this digital certificate. We are doing a pilot program in May, in all our 46 airports. We are going to give all these travelers that certainty. Spain is going to be ready in June to tell all travelers worldwide that you can visit us.said Fernando Valdés Verelst, Tourism Minister of Spain.
United Airlines very quickly reacted to this news, announcing that it would restart service from New York’s Newark Airport to Madrid and Barcelona in July.
Open from 24th May for some countries
According to Reuters, starting 24th May 2021, Spain will also allow tourists from 10 low-risk non-EU countries – including the U.K., Australia, New Zealand and Israel – to enter without presenting negative COVID-19 PCR test results.
Spain will be delighted, very delighted to welcome all British tourists, and tourists from some other countries with low Covid infection rates.said Pedro Sanchez, Prime Minister of Spain.
The current list of countries with no restrictions on travel to Spain is Israel, Australia, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, China, and the Hong Kong and Macao territories.
Spain not on United Kingdom’s Green List
Despite the good news for many foreign visitors, Spanish arm of the global airline association Asociación de Líneas Aéreas (ALA) Javier Gandara said obsticles still remain.
One of the obstacles is that Spain is not on UK’s Green list. UK citizens or residents who visit Spain will be required to provide a negative PCR test on their return home and must quarantine for ten days and then take another PCR test.
Another problem that Gandara pointed out was that many of the vaccines used in Latin America had not been approved by the European Medicines Agency, making a certificate of vaccination invalid. He said:
We ask that Latin Americans be allowed to travel to Spain on condition they present a negative PCR test result.
Meanwhile, Javier Sanchez-Prieto, CEO of Iberia Airlines, said that he hoped routes between Spain and Latin America would return within the next few weeks.
Important for Spain’s economy
Spain was the 2nd most visited country in the world before COVID-19 behind France. Tourism – which was down by 80% in 2020 – is incredibly important for Spain’s financial health, accounting for about 12% of its GDP, which is why vaccination efforts are so important.
Presently, approximately 34% of the country’s 47 million residents have received at least the first dose. Government officials have said the goal is to have 70% of its people fully vaccinated by the end of summer.
All of 2020 and the Spring of 2021 has seen empty hotels, famous sights and beaches in Spain. The knock-on effect from this is that thousands of Spaniards who rely on tourism to feed their families now need state support for income.
What do you think of Spain’s reopening to international tourists? Do you see it as a sight of recovery? Let me know in the comments section below.