Spain to lift travel restrictions for UK, Japan in bid to salvage season
Madrid, May 21 (EFE).- Spain is set to lift Covid-19 travel restrictions for citizens of 10 low-risk countries, including the United Kingdom and Japan, in a bid to jump start its Covid-blighted tourism sector in time for the summer season, the prime minister announced Friday.
Pedro Sánchez said that from Monday travelers from the UK, Japan, China, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, Israel and Rwanda could enter Spain without any special requirements such as PCR tests, obligatory quarantine or vaccine certification.
Travelers will be asked to fill out a health form prior to arrival.
“I’m pleased to inform you that a ministerial order will be officially published today exempting citizens from the UK and other countries such as New Zealand, South Korea or China from temporary restrictions for non-essential travel to Spain,” he said, in English, during a speech at the Fitur international tourism fair in Madrid.
“I can therefore announce that from next Monday, the 24th of May, Spain will be delighted to receive British tourists again into our country.”
He added that from June 7, anyone who had received a full course of a Covid-19 vaccine could visit Spain, regardless of their country of origin. They will have to present vaccine certificates authorized by the European Medicines Agency or the World Health Organization.
“That’s to say that from June 7 anyone who is fully vaccinated and their families are welcome regardless of their country of origin.”
Tourism is a vital part of the Spanish economy, making up just over 12% of its annual GDP in 2019, when it was the second-most visited country in the world.
British tourists have traditionally comprised the largest percentage of foreign visitors to Spain, drawn in particular to the sun-soaked beaches of the Mediterranean coast, the Balearics and the Canary Islands.
Although Spain has lifted its restrictions for British travelers, the Iberian nation remains on the UK government’s amber list, meaning those returning to the UK would have to undergo a period of quarantine.EFE