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Spain pins tourism hopes on EU Covid passport vote

Spain is to open up to overseas travellers from June under new plans.

The scheme, to be piloted next month, will allow passengers who have been vaccinated, tested negative or recently recovered from Covid to enter Spain.

“Spain is going to be ready in June to tell all travellers worldwide that you can visit us,” Tourism Minister Fernando Valdes told a travel conference in Mexico.

The news comes as the EU prepares to vote on a digital passport scheme.

Plans for an EU certificate were first raised earlier this year as countries attempt to save the summer tourism season.

The document, either digital or on paper, would enable anyone vaccinated against Covid, or who has tested negative, or recently recovered from the virus, to travel across all 27 member states.

Key to the digital certificate is a QR code – a machine-readable graphic code made up of black and white squares – that contains personal data and the EU’s Commission says it will be safe and secure. It is working with the World Health Organization to ensure the certificate is recognised beyond Europe.

The bloc also wants to include non-EU countries such as Norway, Iceland and Switzerland, with officials saying earlier this week that vaccinated travellers from the US may also be able to visit Europe this summer.

However, the European Commission has said that there have been “no contacts” with the UK over the issue.

A number of countries have already begun unveiling their own passport systems.

In Denmark, the Coronapas app is being used to allow customers who have been vaccinated or recovered from an infection to enter bars, restaurants and museums.

A similar scheme in Israel, which has one of the highest levels of vaccinations in the world, permits users to access hotels, gyms and theatres. The “Green pass” has also created travel opportunities for Israeli citizens, following deals with Greece and Cyprus.

|Reuters

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