The beaches of Malaga in Spain’s Andalusian region are back to life! So is Mallorca, the largest of Spain's Balearic islands in the Mediterranean.
On Monday, June 7, Spain opened its borders and welcomed tourists from all corners of the globe, regardless of nationality or age.
According to Spain’s health website, arriving passengers must be able to prove they are negative of COVID-19. This can be a vaccination certificate, a certificate of SARSCoV2 diagnostic test with negative result or a COVID-19 recovery certificate.
Prior to travel, these certificates can be added to their SpTH application during the process of obtaining their QR code.
At the time of the passenger’s departure, they will have to show their QR code for the trip to board their flight or cruise. The QR code must be obtained two days before departure at the latest.
Upon arrival in Spain, it will be scanned from the passenger’s mobile phone or printed paper for passengers to access the terminal and collect their luggage. Spanish health authorities may carry out a medical evaluation upon arrival such as temperature scanning.
The vaccines that Spain accepts are those approved in the EU, namely Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson. Good news for Filipinos: Spain also allows vaccines authorized by the World Health Organization (WHO), which include two Chinese vaccines—Sinopharm and Sinovac.
The 27-country European Union (EU) is leaving it to individual countries to choose whether to allow only vaccinated tourists or proof a negative COVID-19 test or quarantine upon arrival. The rest of the EU is expected to open by July 1. Seven countries including Spain have already done so.
Prior to the pandemic, Spain was the second most visited country in the world in 2019 with 83 million tourists, following France’s 89 million. The United States was third (80 million), followed by China (63 million), and Italy (62 million).
According to a Reuters report, the Mallorca-based hotel chain Melia said that bookings from German tourists over the past two weeks have already surpassed 2019's levels, with demand concentrated on the Balearic and Canary islands.
AFP reported that Spain’s economy contracted by 10.8% in 2020, “one of the worst performers in the Eurozone, its key tourism sector battered by the pandemic travel restrictions.”
“With vaccination rates rising across Europe, many are hoping it will be a busy summer for tourism, and by mid-morning (June 9) there was a steady flow of arrivals at Malaga airport in the southern Andalusia region, among them German, Irish and Belgian tourists. At least 20 international flights landed in the morning, with the arrivals delighted to finally be able to hit the beach after more than a year of lockdown.”
The Spanish government is expecting to welcome 45 million tourists this year. By the end of April, official statistics showed that it had only 1.8 million visitors.