Spain has confirmed that British holidaymakers WILL be able to visit the country this summer.
UK sun-worshippers will be able to travel to the country’s favourite holiday destination from June with the aid of a digital health pass following discussions between the two governments.
The move will be a welcome boost to the country’s ailing tourism sector which has been heavily impacted by the Coronavirus travel restrictions.
With over 17 million British tourists visiting the country each year, the country is desperate to welcome back travellers from its biggest market to breathe life into travel-related businesses.
Secretary of State for Tourism, Fernando Valdes Verelst said: “June will be the start of the recovery of tourism in Spain.
“By then, we will have a digital vaccination certificate in place and we will be able to reopen our borders.”
Verelst welcomed the news that Boris Johnson was planning to restart international travel and said that Spain wanted the UK’s own digital passport to be “mutually recognised”.
Just this week, minister for tourism, Reyes Maroto announced that national travel restrictions would soon be lifted for Spanish citizens allowing them to start planning their summer vacations.
Spain will begin to trial digital passes next month in preparation for European and UK nationals visiting from June.
In recent weeks there has been much debate as to whether Spain will be on the UK’s ‘green list’ which will be based on a traffic light system.
Mr Verelst said that he expected Spain to be added to the green list which would mean that returning Brits would not need to self-isolate for 10 days.
He said: “Because of the progress in our vaccine rollout, with 22 per cent of our population having had their first dose already, we expect by June to be at the green light.
“We are having close conversations with UK authorities and we are exchanging information on Spain’s digital system and the trial happening at our airports in May.”
At the recent World Travel and Tourism Council’s summit in Mexico, Mr Verelst said: “It is great news the UK government has said it will take into consideration the situation on individual islands.
“We do not want a situation like last year where it was stop-start in terms of travel being allowed.”
The news comes as Greece announced that it would also be welcoming back British holidaymakers this summer and would be accepting their paper vaccination certificates while the UK and EU come to an agreement on digital passes.
Those who have not been vaccinated will still be able to visit the country but would need to present a negative PCR test.
NHS app could double as a digital health passport
The UK’s transport secretary Grant Shapps revealed today that the NHS app was being worked on so that it could become the digital health passport for international travellers.
Thousands downloaded the app this morning after it was discovered that it was now displaying details of recent vaccinations and their results confirming what Mr Shapps had said.
However, the Department of Health denied the claims that it had secretly rolled out COVID passports, insisting that all vaccinations were automatically added to the app which contained the user's medical details.
A government spokesperson would not confirm if this would be the method of presenting proof when travelling or how a negative test would be uploaded to the app if not done via the NHS.