Spain aims to coordinate reactivation of tourism with the UK roadmap
Spain wants to work with the Government of the United Kingdom to "create a regime of measures that allow British tourists to visit their most popular destination this summer," according to the British sector media TTG. The vaccination passport is one of the measures that the Government has been considering for weeks, and for which it has sought the approval of the EU, who on Thursday agreed to use it for trips within the EU, as the European Union will launch a vaccination passport in time for the summer.
Spain has been repeatedly proposed the introduction of a passport system or vaccination certificates to the European Union, however until now other member countries have not accepted the use of the one, except for trips within the EU itself.
The Secretary of State for Tourism is Spain, Fernando Valdés , has told The Independent newspaper that vaccination passports and certificates will be among the measures that will allow the British to spend their holidays in Spain, and the holiday islands, this summer.
According to Valdés, visitors from the United Kingdom who do not have proof of having been vaccinated against Covid-19 (at the moment they are not giving vaccination certificates to people already inoculated), will not have problems entering Spain, as negative PCR tests are still valid to prevent the virus from entering. "We feel that summer has to be the beginning of the gradual restoration of international tourism to Spain, and we hope to welcome British tourists again," Valdés said.
"A vaccination certificate would help us regain mobility," Valdés said, adding that they would be complementary with other measures, such as negative tests, masks and social distance, not a replacement.
In fact, almost all Spanish destinations would agree on a vaccination passport if the EU finally gave its approval. The Balearic Islands have already asked the Spanish Government to be able to test it for this summer. The Canary Islands, on the other hand, according to TTG, would choose to insist on the request for a negative PCR test for travellers from the UK, when trips are resumed. Once the EU has accepted the use of passports, it seems clear that all destinations will agree on them as one more measure.
There is still time for the resumption of international travel, which Boris Johnson announced last week it will not be before May 17th in the United Kingdom, and on Wednesday this week, Spain has again extended the restrictions on arrivals from the UK by sea and air until March 16th , to combat the spread of the virus.
Greece negotiates outside the EU:
On Thursday, Greece announced they are ready to reopen in May and be prepared to accept vaccinated British people in to the country, as are Israel, Cyprus and Thailand.
For this, they have been negotiating with the UK directly, which is the country’s biggest tourist market outside the EU, and has already decided that tourists who have a vaccination certificate will be able to enter the country without the need for prior Covid tests, also confirming that all workers in the tourism sector will be vaccinated in May in Greece.
Ultimately, seeing how events have developed, the strategy of Greece, and now also that of Spain, has been correct: The European Union has accepted vaccination passports as a joint strategy for travel within the Union itself, which obviously is not now the case of the United Kingdom since January 1st, so countries that want to welcome British tourists this summer will have to negotiate terms with the UK directly.