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The setting could not have been more appropriate: FITUR, the International Tourism Fair held annually in Madrid. That is where Spanish prime minister Pedro Sánchez appeared this Friday, announcing that from June 7th all people who are vaccinated will be able to enter Spain. The country of origin will not matter - the only requirement is that they must have been fully immunized against the coronavirus. As well, tourists from the UK and nine other non-EU countries will be able to land in Spain from Monday, May 24th without any restrictions.

The Spanish PM made the announcement at an event to present the EU's digital green certificate, Europe's new Covid measure which will also facilitate mobility and tourism between European Union countries. Sánchez explained that from June 7th "tourists from all countries with which there is no full freedom of movement, including the United States, will be able to enter Spain as long as they have a certificate accrediting that they have been fully vaccinated" against the coronavirus. He said he was "delighted" by the prospect of tourists returning this summer, who will be "welcome to our country."

As well, according to a ministerial order published today in the government gazette, tourists from a dozen countries will be able to enter Spain from next Monday. They are: the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, China and Rwanda. According to Sánchez, "all of them will be on the list of safe countries and will therefore be able to enter our country and will not have to face health checks upon arrival in Spain". From May 24th, "Spain will be delighted to welcome them and they will be welcome without restrictions or health requirements." Many of these countries, of course, have their own restrictions which still apply to arrivals from Spain, so citizens intending to visit Spain need to check what Covid requirements or quarantines they would face on returning home. 

From July, the EU digital certificate

During the same event, Pedro Sánchez presented the European Union's digital certificate, which he asserted will allow "a much better summer" than last year and will let Spain reactivate "all economic activities" related to tourism, which have been severely affected by the pandemic. This certificate will be operational throughout the European Union from July 1st. It will work with a QR code, which will certify that the person has either (1) been vaccinated, (2) has a negative Covid test, or (3) has recovered from the disease after being infected. It will be free and, in the case of Spain, it will be issued by the Autonomous Communities, which manage the health competencies.

Sanchez clarified that "we are not talking about a passport or a travel document," and that "it is not a requirement to travel." It is simply a document that will make things easier and prevent you from having to do “complex checks” on arrival at the destination. He also asserted that the absolute confidentiality of the data would be guaranteed.