Spain plans to incorporate vaccine passports into its safe travel protocol, which may allow tourists to travel to the country and its surrounding islands this summer.
Spanish Tourism Minister Reyes Maroto told journalists on Monday that the government plans to introduce vaccination certificates, or “passports”, into its safe travel corridor scheme, as “an element of safe mobility”.
"We already have safety protocols in place but we want to take another step to help restart travel as soon as the coronavirus situation allows for it," she said, adding that the government is working with the EU and OECD to “adopt common protocols that give travellers the confidence that they can travel safely”.
These planned protocols, including vaccine passports, have already been approved for use in the Canary Islands and Balearic Islands, including Ibiza, where travel corridors were trialled last summer.
Maroto added that, if Spain’s vaccination roll-out goes ahead as planned and significant improvements in the COVID-19 situation are seen, then "it gives hope and certainty that that the second semester of 2021 will be when the reactivation of the tourism sector" can take place.
Maroto’s comments come just days after the Balearic government announced that, from the beginning of March, bars and restaurants in Ibiza, Formentera, Menorca and Mallorca will be able to open terraces and outdoor spaces to the public. At the beginning of the month, Maroto said that Spain hopes to reopen for tourism in the spring.
Tourism is one of the most crucial industries in Spain, especially in nightclub hotspot Ibiza. Spain welcomes approximately 80 millions tourists a year, with the industry providing over 12% of the country’s GDP.