SPAIN has confirmed for the first time it will welcome Brits back to its beaches in June.
UK holidaymakers are to be allowed to travel there with a digital health pass following discussions between the two governments.
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Spain will welcome Brits back to its beaches in June, tourism minister Fernando Valdes Verelst confirmedCredit: Alamy
Spanish tourism minister 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.”
He said Spain was pushing for the UK’s proposed digital pass to be “mutually recognised”, adding he welcomed PM Boris Johnson’s plans to restart international travel.
Spain — the destination for 17.4million Brits a year before the pandemic — is desperate to restart tourism.
It will begin a trial of accepting digital passes for its own nationals at Spanish airports next month with the aim of preparing for UK holidaymakers arriving in June.
Fernando Valdes Verelst says Spain hopes to welcome tourists back with a digital vaccination certificate
Mr Verelst also predicted that Spain should be on the UK’s green list in the proposed traffic light system by June — meaning Brits returning home from the Costas will not be required to quarantine.
He explained: “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.”
And he added at the World Travel and Tourism Council’s summit in Mexico: “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.”
Spain, the destination for 17.4million Brits a year before the pandemic, is desperate to restart tourismCredit: Alamy
The boost for Spain-loving Brits comes a day after The Sun revealed that Greece would allow Brits into the country using their NHS paper vaccination cards this summer.
Harry Theocharis said the country was happy to accept the paper handwritten card to avoid having to take a pricey PCR test to enter the Med holiday hotspot.
Speaking at the World Travel And Tourism Summit in Cancun, Mexico, he said the paper document would be acceptable while the UK and EU develop digital health passports.
He said: “Until the UK has a digital passport, we have seen the paper cards that are provided with the two vaccine appointment dates and we are recognising them. They can be used on the ground and at the borders.”
Mr Verelst predicts that Spain will be on the UK’s green list in the proposed traffic light system by JuneCredit: Getty
He said Greece would also look at accepting the cheaper, rapid antigen tests in coming months.
We revealed last Thursday that Brits would be welcomed with open arms to European hotspots this summer thanks to the UK’s jabs success.
Go green for holidays
By Lisa Minot, Travel Editor
SPAIN’S decision to welcome back Britons from June is music to our ears.
Now it is crucial our favourite Spanish Med destinations are added to the green list when our Government finally reveals early next month where we can travel.
Countries on the amber list will require quarantine on return to the UK and two expensive PCR tests, putting them out of reach for millions of British households.
Plans for our own digital health passports also need to be urgently accelerated to allow us to travel with fewer restrictions — and less costly testing.
Spain is desperate to welcome us back. Its economy — so reliant on tourism — has been shattered and needs visitors.
And it still has time to ramp up its vaccinations and tackle rising cases in order to get on that green list.