After suffering the worst year in its history in 2020, tourism is beginning to breathe, thanks to the advance of vaccination. The Government is aware that it cannot miss the opportunity and that it has to launch messages of openness now, not only within Spain, but above all outside of it.
And that is why the president, Pedro Sánchez , took advantage of a showcase such as the one at the Fitur fair , in Madrid, the second most important in the world, to anticipate that travelers who have received the complete vaccination schedule , from any country in the world, will be able to arrive in Spain from June 7 . Thus, the borders are opened.
That is, all citizens of countries with which there is no freedom of movement, and the United States as an example , will be able to arrive, they and their families, as long as they have a certificate that proves that they have been administered the sera authorized by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) or the World Health Organization (WHO).
This decision of the Executive also affects Latin America , a key region for our country due to its contribution of visitors.
In addition, from next Monday, May 24 , visitors from ten non-EU countries but considered safe will be able to enter Spain, without any type of sanitary control : United Kingdom , Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Israel, South Korea, Thailand, Japan, China and Rwanda. The ministerial order was published this Friday in the BOEand it will go into effect in just three days.
Given the significance of the announcement, and that the United Kingdom is the first issuer of travelers to Spain, Sánchez repeated it in English. “From Monday, Spain will be delighted, delighted to welcome all British tourists and from all the countries I just mentioned. They are welcome to our country without restrictions and without health requirements,” he stressed.
European travelers from countries classified as green – less than 25 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days and a positivity rate of less than 4% – do not have to meet the requirements to enter Spain.
And citizens of European countries identified, according to the traffic light of the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), with the colors orange, red and dark red , “may enter Spain with a negative PCR at origin or, at as of June 7, with the complete schedule of vaccines authorized by the EMA or the WHO “.
The green digital certificate, ready as of July 1, will finally be issued in Spain by the autonomous communities
The president visited Fitur just a few hours after the European Parliament and the Twenty-seven reached an agreement to launch, as of July 1, the green digital certificate ( EU covid digital certificate will be the official name).
This document , together with the relaxation of restrictions on non-essential travel, “will allow for a much better summer” than that of 2020. With it, he said, “Spain will safely resume all its economic activities” and mobility will be achieved. at the EU level this summer. The chief executive recalled that it is not a “passport” or a mandatory “travel document”, but a ” mechanism ” that will helpto mobility, arrival and transit of travelers.
“Certainty and stability”
The certificate will be “free” and “universal”, it will inform in a “simple” way if its holder has passed the disease and is vaccinated or if it has a negative PCR, thus avoiding “complex checks” upon arrival in a country.
The document, which will be implemented through a QR code, will finally be issued by the autonomous communities , the president anticipated. Sánchez specified, however, that the Ministry of Health will be in charge of “coordinating” the different registries and information systems that will issue vaccination certificates to citizens and that they may request them on paper or in digital format.
Each country will have autonomy to have its own mobile application, but “full interoperability” between the different mechanisms of the EU will be sought, and that is ” the great success “, having managed to agree on an instrument in just three months between the Twenty-seven and with the Eurocamara. The certificate provides, he added, ” certainty and stability ” to the sector and citizens, who will be able to “plan their summer and their trips from July.”
Sánchez recalls that the recovery plan incorporates a public investment of 3,400 million euros for the tourism sector
Sánchez reviewed the measures approved by the Government to support tourism, “an unprecedented social shield”: the “extension of the largest public budget in history” (2,230 million, 250% more); 17,914 million that were allocated to financing, through the ICO lines, for the more than 128,000 self-employed workers and tourism, culture and leisure companies, or the channeling of 7,000 million direct aid to the sectors most affected by the covid, that leads tourism.
The Executive, he promised, will continue to support it: it will “accelerate the transformation of the tourism model,” incorporating levers such as digitization and environmental, socioeconomic and territorial sustainability.
Fitur seeks to be a lever for the takeoff of tourism after the pandemic
The Government has allocated 1,349 million euros from the State Budgets to this chapter of “modernization and transformation of the tourism sector”, the “only one”, he recalled, which has its own component in the recovery plan that will absorb the 140,000 million euros. European funds. It will involve a public investment of 3.4 billion , with an estimated impact on tourism of 44 billion.
Between 60-70% of the 83.7 M
“Absolute support” of the Executive, therefore, to a sector, tourism, which will once again be, said the socialist leader, the ” reactor that drives the economic recovery to which Spain is heading thanks also to the vaccination process”, which It is progressing at a good pace and it will allow for group immunity to be achieved in mid-August, with 70% of the population (33 million) immunized ” in less than 90 days .”
The president offers more promising forecasts than those advanced by Minister Maroto, who predicted 45 million tourists in 2021
According to the President of the Government, Spain will receive this summer the arrival of between 30% and 40% of the 20.1 million international visitors who arrived in the summer season (June and August) of 2019 (that is, between 8.5 and 10 million people), while by the end of the year it could reach 60% and 70% of the 83.7 million tourists who visited the country two years ago.
Forecasts more promising than those advanced a week ago by the Minister of the Industry, Reyes Maroto , who predicted the entry of 45 million tourists in 2021. In 2019, tourism activity, according to the INE, accounted for 12.4% of GDP , but the blow of the coronavirus crisis lowered its impact to 4.3% of GDP, according to estimates from the Exceltur tourism lobby.
The main source of tourists to Spain is the United Kingdom with 18 million visitors in 2019 , ahead of Germany and France, with 11 million each. After Sánchez’s announcement, the main debate now is whether or not Boris Johnson’s country will introduce restrictions on British citizens upon their return from Spain.
UK has established a system of ‘traffic lights’whereby each country will be listed in red, yellow or green, by virtue of the accumulated incidence and the status of vaccination and which will be updated every three weeks.
At the moment, the only European destinations included in green and that, therefore, would not imply quarantine upon return, were Portugal -including the Azores and Madeira-, Gibraltar, the Faroe Islands and Iceland. Spain was in the group of States in amber .
Sánchez, who was accompanied in Fitur by Maroto and by the head of Health, Carolina Darias, tinged his speech with optimism, as he has been doing in his last speeches . And, in that sense, he stressed that it is necessary to prepare for “the return to the streets” of Madrid for the celebration of LGTBI Pride or Xacobeo in Galicia, or for the return to “life” of inns and tourist accommodation. Little by little, he said, he will leave a “dark stage” to “resume the path” that the covid forced to park to “defend the public health of all.”