SPAIN has announced it will be ready to welcome back British and international holidaymakers this June.

The Spanish government has told the main players in the tourism industry, gathered at the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) summit in Cancun (Mexico) that it will introduce the digital green certificate—the ‘Covid passport’—in June.

According to the Secretary of State for Tourism, Fernando Valdes, the digital certificate, the legal basis of which is being developed in the European Union (EU) and which ‘will be fundamental in providing certainty to travellers’, will be operational at the start of this summer.

Valdes explained that the Digital Green Certificates ‘is not a magic wand’ but will be accepted as ‘proof’ a person had a COVID-19 jab, received a negative test result or recovered from the virus.

With a digital vaccination certificate in place, to be pilot tested in May in all of Spain’s 46 airports, Spain expects to start the recovery of tourism in June.

Additionally Valdes said that Spain was pushing for the UK’s digital vaccine passport to be ‘mutually recognised’ and said he welcomed Boris Johnson’s plans to restart international travel from May 17.

“Because of the progress in our vaccine rollout with 22% of our population having had their first dose already, we expect by June to be on the UK’s green list.” he said.

“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.” Valdes added.

Additionally, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced that fully vaccinated American tourists will be able to enter the European Union this summer.

For her part, the president and CEO of the WTTC, Gloria Guevara, said ‘tourism will emerge stronger from this crisis’ and highlighted the need for ‘unity’ and importance of ‘lifting travel restrictions and increasing the vaccination rate’.

The announcements come as a much needed boost to encourage the return of international tourism to Spanish shores.

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