Spain 'looking at vaccine passports' and Greece 'aiming to open borders' by mid-May

10 March 2021, 10:45 | Updated: 14 March 2021, 06:51

Brits could be back in Benidorm within a couple of months if Spain gives vaccine passports the green light
Brits could be back in Benidorm within a couple of months if Spain gives vaccine passports the green light. Picture: PA
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

British holidaymakers could return to Spain and Greece within a couple of months as Spanish officials consider vaccine passports and Greek ministers aim to reopen borders by May.

On Wednesday, Spain's tourism minister said the country could begin using vaccine passports in May when Madrid's international tourism fair Fitur takes place.

Reyes Maroto told the country's Antena 3 TV station: “We could be in a position to start implementing the digital passport (when Fitur beings on 19 May).”

EU leaders have previously agreed to work on drawing up vaccine certificates to help restart the bloc's tourism industry.

Meanwhile, Greece's tourism minister said he hopes to begin allowing overseas tourists back into the country from 14 May.

However, he added that the decision to reopen the borders will depend on how the coronavirus pandemic develops.

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Brits could head back to the likes of Santorini, Greece, by mid-May
Brits could head back to the likes of Santorini, Greece, by mid-May. Picture: PA

During a virtual appearance at travel trade show ITB Berlin, Mr Theoharis said: "We are approaching the exit from this dark tunnel thanks to the power of the human spirit and the progress of science.

"Please allow me to emphasise that no image could better portray the return to the normality of tourism than the Greek smile, the Greek landscape, the Greek hospitality.

"Regarding 2021, in Greece we are more than optimistic.

"We are ready, we are ready to share the experience of liberation from the unpleasant memories of the pandemic with each and every one of our guests."

The tourism minister explained that foreign visitors will need to have been vaccinated, provide a recent negative Covid-19 test or have antibodies for the virus.

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He added that a "pilot" reopening of Greece's borders is likely to take place in early April.

Under Prime Minister Boris Johnson's roadmap for easing Covid restrictions, people living in England could be allowed to take foreign holidays from 17 May.

The government's Global Travel Taskforce will provide a report to the UK leader on 12 April, which will set out recommendations for how and when foreign leisure trips could resume.

Greece and Spain are two of the most popular summer destinations for UK holidaymakers.

British nationals usually make more than three million visits to Greece each year, according to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.