Spain to allow all vaccinated travellers in from June 7

The world's second most popular destination after France, Spain registered 83.5 million foreign visitors in 2019. PHOTO: REUTERS

MADRID (AFP) - Spain will allow all vaccinated travellers to visit the country from June 7, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Friday (May 21), 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 travellers would be allowed to visit Spain for holidays from next week.

"From next Monday, the 24th of May, Spain will be delighted to receive British tourists again," Sanchez said, adding that they will be allowed in "without restriction".

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 during the pandemic British travellers have only been allowed into Spain for visits deemed essential.

Britain has meanwhile upheld restrictions on travellers from Spain, who have to quarantine on arrival, as well as showing a negative Covid test.

Japanese travellers will also be allowed to visit to 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.

The world's second most popular destination after France, Spain registered 83.5 million foreign visitors in 2019, official figures show.

In 2020, the number of foreign tourists visiting Spain collapsed by 77 per cent 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 Organisation, tourist arrivals are estimated to have fallen 74 per cent in 2020 compared to 2019.

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