Spain welcomes back American tourists starting today

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If you’ve spent the last year fantasizing about rooftop cocktails in Barcelona, ​​tapas in Seville, shopping in Madrid and the feeling of toes in the sand on the Costa del Sol, today is your lucky day. On June 7, Spain is open to tourists from almost every country, including the United States, provided they can prove that they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Vaccinated American travelers can travel into Spain from today

As of today, non-European travelers fully vaccinated against Covid-19 will once again have access to Spain. According to one Spanish government press release and a bulletin published in the Spanish Official Gazette (BOE) on Saturday, allow passengers from risk zones, including the United States, to travel to Spain, provided they have received the full doses of one of the Covid-19 vaccines approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) or the European Medicines Agency (EMA). The approved vaccines, which must have been administered more than 14 days before arrival, are those manufactured by Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, Oxford-AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Sinopharm and Sinovac-Coronavac.

In addition, unvaccinated travelers from other EU countries who were previously only able to enter Spain with evidence of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours can now take a faster and cheaper antigen test instead. U.S. visitors also have the opportunity to travel into Spain by demonstrating a negative test result from a SARSCoV2 diagnostic test or evidence of recent improvement from COVID-19.

Exceptions due to variants of concern

The only exceptions to this rule currently apply to persons arriving from India, Brazil and South Africa. Travel to Spain from these countries is still prohibited, even for vaccinated people, as a result of the variants of concern circulating there.

Meanwhile, people are traveling from low-risk zones, which currently includes Australia, New Zealand, China, Israel, Japan and the United Kingdom, is not required to provide proof of vaccination, recovery or a negative test, but must still complete the itinerary on Spain travel health portal. The European Union is expected to launch a Digital Covid passport on 1 July, which will further facilitate travel between EU countries and enable travelers to prove their immunity to COVID-19.

Tourism is a major contributor to Spain’s GDP

Returning to international travel is good news for Spain. According to data reported by CaixaBankTourism accounts for 12.3% of the country’s GDP and 12.7% of its employment. As one of the European countries hardest hit by the pandemic, Spain recorded a huge drop of 10.8% in GDP by 2020.

In an interview with Catalunya Radio on Saturday, Spanish Foreign Minister Fernando Valdés stated that Spain expected to receive “between 14.5 and 15.5 million tourists” between July and September. He added that this number corresponds to about 40% of the tourists who arrived in 2019, but doubles those who arrived in 2020, Europa Press reports.

“We expect to end 2021 with at least 50% of our numbers from 2019,” Valdés concluded.

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