Spain on Saturday relaxed entry rules for unvaccinated tourists from outside the European Union, giving a boost to the key tourism sector as the summer holidays approach.
Until now, travelers from outside the European Union -- including the UK, the main country of origin for tourists to Spain -- could only enter with proof of vaccination or recovery. of COVID-19.
But from Saturday, these visitors are also allowed to enter with a negative test, the Spanish transport ministry said in a statement.
PCR tests must be carried out within 72 hours prior to departure for Spain and antigen tests within 24 hours prior.
The Spanish Minister of Tourism, Maria Reyes Maroto, explained that the “new phase of the pandemic” allowed the country to relax the rules, applying to non-European travelers those hitherto required for travelers coming from the EU.
“This is excellent news, eagerly awaited by the tourism sector, which will make it easier for non-European tourists to visit us during the high season,” she added in the press release.
Children under 12 are exempt from presenting any type of certificate.
With its sunny beaches and rich architectural heritage, Spain was the second most visited country in the world before the pandemic, with 83.5 million foreign visitors in 2019.
But the international restrictions on travel linked to the pandemic brought the sector to its knees in 2020, which only welcomed 19 million tourists.
This figure rose to 31.1 million in 2021, well below the forecast of the Spanish government, which was counting on 45 million arrivals.