Spain is eyeing up vaccine passports as one of a raft of possible measures aimed at reopening the country to visitors this summer.
Secretary of State for Tourism Fernando Valdes told The Independent that the country was was “canvassing the European Union and the Organisation for Economically Developed Countries to agree to a system of vaccine passports to increase tourists’ mobility.”
However, Valdes also said that tourists who don’t have proof of vaccination will not be barred, and that the vaccine passport will be only one of a “series of measures” designed to bring international visitors back to the costas.
“A vaccine certificate should help us regain mobility and would have to complement our works with testing and other means that we have already implemented to avoid transmission such as face masks or social distancing.”
Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, who is under enormous pressure to restore a tourism industry that employs 13 per cent of the labour force and generates 12 per cent of the country’s GDP, said the country was going to receive quadruple the number of vaccine doses over the next four months than it did in the first quarter of 2021 and that the aim is to have 70 per cent of the country vaccinated by September.
In the meantime, the government is keen to negotiate safe air corridors with countries like Ireland, the UK and Germany to make sure that tourism-dependent destinations like the Canary Islands and the Balearics can open up to tourists if the contagion rates dip below those on the mainland.