Spain will reopen to foreign tourists in June under a digital health certification scheme, the country’s tourism secretary Fernando Valdes has said.
Speaking at the World Travel and Tourism Council’s Global Summit in Cancun this week, Valdes said Spain would participate in a pilot scheme allowing tourists to prove their Covid status digitally.
This could include evidence of vaccination against Covid-19, of a recent negative test for the virus, or immunisation against Covid-19 through a recent recovery from the infection.
The Guardian reports Valdes as telling delegates Spain would be "ready to receive visitors in June". Spain is aiming to vaccinate 70% of its population against Covid-19 by the end of the summer.
"June will be the start of the recovery of tourism in Spain," said Valdes. "By then, we will have a digital vaccination certificate in place and will be able to reopen our borders."
It echoes comments made by Valdes to Sky News last week, in which he said the country was in "constant conversation" with UK authorities over a resumption of tourism to Spain this summer.
Spain is understood to be piloting its own digital vaccine pass, initially on a domestic basis.
The European Commission, meanwhile, is working on a digital green pass solution that would allow travellers to verify their Covid status through a vaccine or test certificate, or evidence of a recovery from Covid-19.
The commission has said the scheme will have provisions for travellers from third countries, such as the UK.
The UK is understood to be developing a regime to allow travellers to prove their Covid status, although it was reported earlier this week talks between the UK and the EU were at a standstill.
It was reported in the national press last week the UK government was preparing to roll out digital vaccine certification in time for the summer holiday season, with limited international travel expected to resume from 17 May.
The Sun reports Valdes told delegates Spain would seek for the mutual recognition of any UK vaccine pass. He added he expected Spain to make the UK government’s long-awaited "green list" owing to the country’s vaccine roll-out.
The UK government will reveal how countries will be categorised under a new traffic light system early next month, although the Commons’ transport committee has called for the green list, green watchlist, and amber and red lists to be published by 1 May at the latest to give the travel industry and consumers certainty ahead of a the proposed 17 May restart.