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Spain Wants Tourists ‘Within Weeks’

Spain Wants Tourists ‘Within Weeks’

Spain is hoping to welcome international tourists “within weeks,” according to a senior government minister.

Deputy Minister for Tourism Fernando Valdés told The Associated Press yesterday that the ongoing vaccine rollout and falling infection rates in some countries will allow Spain to lift its travel restrictions early next month.

He said that Spain will have the EU Covid-19 Certificate ready in June, and expressed hope that the EU regulation on its introduction will be approved by 21 June.

“But from the first week of June,” he said, “Spain will be able to validate certificates on its borders and expedite certificates to its citizens.”

Some people “from countries outside the European Union will be able to come…without restrictions,” the minister added. “And we are going to begin to accept citizens that can present a vaccine certificate.”

Although the EU has agreed in principle to introduce the digital certificates by the beginning of the month, ongoing negotiations between the Commission and MEPs have hit an impasse over several issues, including the cost of Covid tests and the rights of individual states to introduce additional restrictions.

Tourism is a key industry in Spain, accounting for 12 per cent of GDP in pre-pandemic times but falling to under 6 per cent due to Covid restrictions and lockdowns.

Ireland is still been classified as RED by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), so anyone travelling to Spain needs a negative PCR test taken up to 72 hours before travel. The restrictions are currently valid until midnight on 6 June.

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Fionn Davenport is the editor-in-chief of the ITTN group, including ITTN and ITTN Ireland. He's one of Ireland's best-known travel journalists and writers, with nearly 30 years' experience writing guidebooks for Lonely Planet and others.

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