Spain opens borders to all vaccinated travellers
Spain opens its borders to vaccinated travellers from all over the world on June 7, hoping an influx of visitors will revitalize its all-important tourism sector which has been battered by the coronavirus pandemic.
"Spain is a safe destination," Health Minister Carolina Darias insisted, adding that the country was "in the process of reclaiming its global leadership in tourism".
Non-vaccinated Europeans - who can currently enter Spain with a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours - will from Monday be able to take a cheaper antigen test instead.
But in a setback, the United Kingdom, a huge tourism market for the country, has not yet removed Spain from its list of at-risk countries, meaning British travellers will have to quarantine on their return home as well as pay for expensive COVID-19 tests.
The British normally make up the largest contingent of tourists to Spain - in 2019 over one-fifth of Spain's 83.5 million arrivals were from the United Kingdom.
Regardless, those in the tourism sector are still hoping for a summer surge of visitors.
Jose Luis Prieto, president of Spain's travel agents' union (Unav) is hoping for a "spectacular recovery" starting from June 7.
According to him, over the last few weeks tour operators in Britain, France and Germany - Spain's three main markets - have been receiving a large number of enquiries.
Across the country, from the Costa del Sol to the Canary Islands, hotels and restaurants are reopening after months of closure, and airlines have restarted routes dropped during the height of the pandemic.
Malaga airport was expecting around 20 different flights on Monday morning alone, from places around Europe such as Berlin, Lille, Frankfurt and London.