Spain to see holidaymakers return 'by June,' country's tourism minister says

28 April 2021, 07:36 | Updated: 28 April 2021, 07:48

Holidays across Europe could be allowed using Covid passports from June
Holidays across Europe could be allowed using Covid passports from June. Picture: PA Images
Ewan Quayle

By Ewan Quayle

Coronavirus passports which allow Brits to spend their summer holidays in France, Germany, Italy and the US could be ready by late June, reports suggest.

Leaders from across the US and Europe are set to meet at the G7 Summit in Cornwall between 11 and 13 June, when it is reported the UK has asked to hold talks about a system for allowing vaccinated people to travel.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has requested the meeting which will look at "digital solutions to simplify and facilitate international travel", according to reports in the Telegraph.

Spain's tourism minister has also said he hopes to welcome holidaymakers back to the country by June with a vaccine certificate scheme being trialled in the country in May.

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Countries could be added to 'travel corridors' by 28 June - similar to plans already in place in England which were suspended in January due to lockdown - that would allow tourists and business visitors to skip tests and quarantine if they have been given a jab.

The UK Government is yet to officially announce whether restrictions on travel abroad will be eased on 17 May - the earliest possible date under the roadmap - or which destinations people can visit without self-isolating on their return.

Holidays across Europe could be allowed using Covid passports by June
Holidays across Europe could be allowed using Covid passports by June. Picture: PA Images

Meanwhile, Spain has said it will be ready to welcome back tourists - including holidaymakers from the UK - in the same month.

The country, which welcomed 18 million Brits in 2019, will trial its 'digital certificate scheme' in May with a view to a wider rollout in June if successful.

Tourism minister Fernando Valdes Verelst told a travel and tourism conference in Mexico on Tuesday: "I think the best thing that Governments right now can provide to travellers is certainty, give the proper information and the security that they can travel and they can come back to the countries.

READ MORE: 'Significant proportion' of population have concerns over vaccine passports, study finds

"In those terms, in the European Union, we put in place a system ... that provides us with digital certificate.

"Spain is going to be ready in June to use this digital certificate. We are doing a pilot programme in May, in all our 46 airports.

"We are going to give all these travellers that certainty. Spain is going to be ready in June to tell all travellers worldwide that you can visit us."

The European Union has also set out plans for vaccine certificates that could be used by UK holidaymakers this summer.

Digital Green Certificates will be accepted as "proof" a person had a Covid-19 jab, received a negative test result or recovered from the virus, according to the European Commission's proposal.

Jet2 has criticised the UK Government's travel plans so far
Jet2 has criticised the UK Government's travel plans so far. Picture: PA Images

Some airlines and travel companies have been critical of the UK's Global Travel Taskforce, announced earlier in April alongside a proposed traffic light system for international travel which lacked crucial detail for firms.

Low cost carrier Jet2, which has cancelled all its flights until 24 June, said on Tuesday it was "disappointed at the lack of clarity contained in the Task Force's report, in particular the as yet to be populated 'traffic light' framework for destinations, and full details and cost of the associated testing regime."

READ MORE: Covid-19 passports raise 'ethical questions' but no plans confirmed yet, says Vaccines Minister

"Unsurprisingly, given the short-term uncertainty, customers are booking significantly closer to departure for summer 21," the company added.

A UK Government spokesperson said: "Ensuring free and open travel with our European partners is vitally important which is why we will be engaging the European Commission on reopening travel routes from the UK shortly."