Spain eases Covid entry rules for UK travellers

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Spain eases Covid entry rules for UK travellers
Tourists in Ronda, SpainImage source, Reuters
Image caption,
Spanish minister Reyes Maroto said lifting the ban was "excellent news" for tourism

UK citizens who have not had a coronavirus jab can now travel to Spain by showing a negative PCR or antigen test on arrival.

The Spanish government confirmed that non-vaccinated travellers from outside the EU can enter the country from Saturday.

Fully vaccinated passengers will still need to show proof of vaccination.

This included passenger locator forms and tests for passengers who do not qualify as vaccinated.

Other European countries followed suit, with Austria, Greece, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Croatia, Lithuania, Sweden, Serbia, Slovenia and Slovakia no longer having any Covid travel restrictions for visitors.

Previously, heightened restrictions meant UK travellers were only allowed to enter Spain with vaccine certification or proof of recovery from the virus.

As the countries across the world loosened their Covid travel restrictions to welcome visitors again.

And on Saturday, Spanish tourism minister Reyes Maroto said the "new phase of the pandemic" meant the country was able to relax the rules by equating non-EU travellers with those of the EU and Schengen-associated countries.

"This is excellent news, much awaited by the tourism sector," said Ms Maroto, adding: "Spain is becoming one of the most desired destinations in the world."

From 21 May, all visitors entering Spain at air or sea borders, wherever they are travelling from, must provide one of the following three certificates:

Spain accepts the UK's proof of Covid-19 vaccination record, either digitally, or as a printed download.

PCR tests must be carried out in the 72 hours prior to departure to Spain or an antigen test in the 24 hours prior to departure.

Proof of recovery certificates will be valid for 180 days from the date of the positive test.

Children under the age of 12 are exempt from submitting any type of certificate.

Julia Lo Bue-Said from the Advantage Travel Partnership, an independent travel agent group, said: "This is very good news just ahead of the May half-term and peak season."

Describing it as "extremely positive" for holidaymakers and the travel industry, she added: "However, it is disappointing that Spain has not gone further and removed the need for pre-arrival tests for unvaccinated travellers given the minimal benefit these tests have for public health.

"Consumers want to travel with ease and if destinations prohibit this, then they will go elsewhere."

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