Spain could welcome sun-seeking Brits from June - but will you need a 'vaccine passport'?

Calella de Palafrugell, Catalonia, Spain near Barcelona (Shutterstock)
Calella de Palafrugell, Catalonia, Spain near Barcelona (Shutterstock)

Spain will be ready to welcome back tourists – including those from the UK – in June, the country’s tourism minister has said.

Fernando Valdes Verelst told a travel and tourism conference in Mexico: “I think the best thing that Governments right now can provide to travellers is certainty, give the proper information and the security that they can travel and they can come back to the countries."

“We are going to give all these travellers that certainty," he added. “Spain is going to be ready in June to tell all travellers worldwide that you can visit us.”

Currently in Spain, only citizens and legal residents of the European Union and those who can demonstrate through documentary evidence an essential need to enter the country are granted passage under travel restrictions.

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    Some travel restrictions and testing requirements are in place for international transit through Spanish airports by passengers on flights departing from the UK.

    Will I need a ‘vaccine passport’?

    The European Union has previously set out plans for coronavirus vaccine certificates that could be used by UK holidaymakers this summer.

    Digital Green Certificates will be accepted as “proof” a person had a Covid-19 jab, received a negative test result or recovered from the virus, according to the European Commission’s proposal.

    And Spain – which welcomed 18 million Brits in 2019 – says a digital certificate scheme is currently being trialled with a view to a wider rollout in June.

    “In those terms, in the European Union, we put in place a system… that provides us with a digital certificate,” said Verelst. “Spain is going to be ready in June to use this digital certificate. We are doing a pilot programme in May, in all our 46 airports.

    Will foreign holidays be permitted this summer?

    Face masks are currently mandatory in Spain in outdoors and in all public places - including beaches (Photo: JOSEP LAGO/AFP via Getty Images)

    The UK Government has not yet confirmed whether foreign holidays will be permitted from 17 May – the earliest possible date under the roadmap – or which destinations people can visit without self-isolating on their return.

    Announcing the findings of the Global Travel Taskforce earlier this month, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps did confirm a traffic light system would be used to categorise countries based on risk.

    A UK Government spokesperson said: “Ensuring free and open travel with our European partners is vitally important which is why we will be engaging the European Commission on reopening travel routes from the UK shortly.”

    In a trading update on Tuesday, low cost carrier Jet2 said they were concerned over a lack of details for international travel restarting this summer, and has already cancelled all holidays until 24 June in the hope of gaining more clarity on what travel can take place.

    The airline said it was “disappointed at the lack of clarity contained in the Task Force’s report, in particular the as yet to be populated ‘traffic light’ framework for destinations, and full details and cost of the associated testing regime.”

    What is the situation in Spain?

    On 31 March, Spain tightened face masks rules, making them mandatory outdoors and in all public places for those over the age of 6 years old.

    Face masks have been obligatory since May 2020, but only in places where it was not possible to maintain at least two metres of social distancing.

    Social gatherings are also limited to a maximum of six people outdoors and a maximum of four people inside restaurants and bars, and people from different households are not allowed to meet indoors in private homes.

    There are also capacity restrictions in place at many beaches and other public areas, such as the delineation of plots and the use of booking systems.

    A version of this article originally appeared on our sister title, NationalWorld