Spain to welcome world travelers again by June –


Protocols and digital health certificates mean tourists can visit ‘with certainty’

Speaking at the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) summit in Mexico on Tuesday, Spain’s Secretary of State for Tourism Fernando Valdés said “Spain will be ready in June to tell all world travelers whole that you can visit us for sure. “

The bold claim comes as Spain prepares to participate in a digital health certificate pilot program starting in May, with June being referred to as representing a ‘before and after’ compared to last year’s situation.

The plan is part of a larger EU program to roll out what has so far been called a digital green certificate, a temporary measure that aims to make continent-wide travel possible as soon as possible. this summer. The certificate would use a QR code containing information relating to a traveler’s state of health, including whether they received an approved COVID-19 vaccine, fully recovered from the virus, or tested negative within an acceptable timeframe.

“Not a magic wand”

Spain to welcome travelers from all over the world again by JuneAbout 12% of Spain’s GDP comes from tourism – Shutterstock

Valdés continued to stress that the certificates were “not a magic wand”, but the program, coupled with the continued deployment of vaccines in Spain, would be “fundamental to providing certainty to travelers”.

Spain’s aggressive test of the pilot project – which will roll out at all 46 Spanish airports in May – has been underway since February, highlighting the importance of tourism to the country’s economy.

About 12% of Spain’s GDP comes from tourism, and attempts earlier in the year to open borders to travelers from France caught the world’s attention.

Immunization of the country’s population of 47 million has gained momentum, with 14,994,667 doses of vaccine administered and 4,020,945 people already receiving both injections. The government says it plans to vaccinate 70% of the population by the end of the summer.

Greece plans to reopen in May

The news of the planned reopening coincides with the entry into negotiations of the EU and the United Kingdom in the coming days on the possibility for the British to visit the continent. A date of May 17 has been mentioned and EU countries with large tourism sectors – like Spain – are pushing for cooperation with London.

At the same summit, Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theocharis presented plans to make travel to Greece more open and available, with May 14 their initial plan to welcome international visitors and an even closer date, May 3, for cruises.

Like Spain, Greece relies heavily on tourism to help its economy, and once again, the message of cooperation was central. UK Under Secretary of State for Tourism Nigel Huddleston told the WTTC that “we absolutely want to work, and we are working very closely, with our partners in the EU and elsewhere around the world”.

The final key to the functioning of the system, and on which Spain relies, lies in these reciprocal agreements, with Valdés arguing that “there is no point in opening only one side of the equation”, reiterating that certainty was the key, and that if travelers can go one way but face restrictions when they get home, it wouldn’t help tourism.

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