Spain opens up tourism to vaccinated people from all over the world from June 7
British tourists will be able to enter Spain from Monday without PCRs
MadridSpain is starting to roll out the red carpet for tourism, to which the Spanish government is pinning the start of recovery this summer. From Monday, British tourists will no longer have to take a PCR test to come to Spain. Nor will those from China, Singapore, Australia, Israel, New Zealand, South Korea, Japan and Thailand have to take it, according to the Official State Gazette (BOE) and as announced by the Spanish president, Pedro Sánchez, from the Fitur tourism fair, where he also presented the European digital green certificate, approved on Thursday in Brussels. "From Monday, Spain will be delighted to welcome all British tourists who want to come without restrictions", he said.
However, not all that glitters is gold. British tourists, who before the pandemic were the vast majority of arrivals to the State, will still have to take a PCR and quarantine to comply when returning from Spain, because it is listed in orange on the pandemic traffic light of the British government - Portugal, for instance, is green. The Ministry of Industry and Tourism is pressuring London to change the colour of the traffic light and to territorialise the map of Spain by communities, so that the Valencian Country and the Balearic Islands, for example, do not pay for the high incidence of coronavirus that still exists in the Community of Madrid.
The other key factor in the recovery in tourism, with international tourist arrivals forecast to rise by 30 to 40 per cent this summer, and which could reach 60 to 70 per cent by the end of the year, according to the estimates announced by Sánchez, is the entry into force of the European digital certificate. Spain will also be one of the countries that will impose fewer requirements on the rest of the European states: those coming from a country with a green traffic light - in this case, according to the European authorities - will be able to enter without any kind of restriction, and the rest will be able to do so from 1 July without PCR if they have been vaccinated or certify that they have passed the covid-19 test and have recovered. The vaccination certificate will be free and will have to be requested from the autonomous communities.
Sanchez, who entrusts everything to the arrival of tourism this summer, has predicted that with the digital certificate "Spain will recover all economic activities safely, as well as mobility within the European Union this summer". A pilot test of the covid passport has been in force since mid-May, but it will not start working until 1 July and will not be used to travel between states until 7 July. However, despite Spain's red carpet for tourism, it does not mean that the rest of European states act reciprocally: a tourist may encounter quarantines or the obligation to take a PCR when returning to the country of origin.
In the end, the green certificate is a facilitator that seeks to speed up controls and the exchange of information between states. Spain has got its way in the fact that PCRs are not free of charge, since it would mean a strong economic impact for the State's coffers. But it has not managed, on the other hand, to get the rest of the states not to place so many restrictions.
The Spanish president has been counting down the days to proclaim the end of the pandemic with the group immunisation of the population on 18 August, when 70% of the population will be vaccinated. He believes that this will be the passport for the coronavirus crisis to last only three years, compared to the eight years that the last economic crisis lasted, and considers that this has only been possible thanks to the "capacity of the European Union to respond to a calamity".