Spain will allow all vaccinated travelers to visit the country from June 7, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said Friday, as the tourism hotspot aims to revive its virus-battered travel industry.
“From June 7, all vaccinated people and their families will be welcome in our country, Spain, regardless of their country of origin,” Sanchez said at an international tourism fair in Madrid.
He also announced that British travelers would be allowed to visit Spain for holidays from next week.
An official website that promotes tourism confirmed that British citizens won’t even need to present a negative Covid test.
Britain has long been the biggest source of tourists for Spain, but British travelers have only been allowed into Spain for visits deemed essential during the pandemic.
Britain has meanwhile upheld restrictions on travelers from Spain, who have to quarantine on arrival and show a negative Covid test.
Japanese travelers will also be allowed to visit Spain for non-essential reasons from Monday, the interior ministry said.
Spain’s announcement came a day after European Union member states reached a deal paving the way for a Covid-19 certificate to open up travel throughout Europe.
The deal will allow anybody living in the EU’s 27 countries to secure a digital health pass by the end of June that displays their vaccination status, results of Covid-19 tests, or recovery from a coronavirus infection.
After France, the world’s second most popular destination, Spain registered 83.5 million foreign visitors in 2019, official figures show.
In 2020, the number of foreign tourists visiting Spain collapsed by 77 percent compared with a year earlier, falling below 19 million visitors as pandemic restrictions put the brakes on leisure travel.
The country expects to welcome around 45 million foreign tourists in 2021, just over half the number who came in 2019 before the pandemic struck, the tourism minister said this month.
Sanchez was speaking at the FITUR International Tourism Fair, which saw some 50,000 people gather this week for the first in-person meeting of its kind since the pandemic hit.
The fair was taking place as many countries in Europe and beyond emerge from lockdowns and as people across the globe are gearing up to travel again.
Tourism was one of the sectors hardest hit by the pandemic.
According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization, tourist arrivals are estimated to have fallen 74 percent in 2020 compared to 2019.
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