The much awaited Covid-19 vaccine passports, known as “Digital Green Certificates,” which will allow citizens from European Union countries to enter Spain, without having to quarantine or take a PCR test, are due to come into force at the end of June.
The announcement was made last Thursday by the Spanish Ministry of Health´s department that is liasing with the European Union to implement the scheme.
The “passports” come in QR code form and will be available from 21st June and can also be downloaded and printed.
The document will act as a certificate that the bearer has been vaccinated, or if they have had the coronavirus or that to show they have test confirming they are covid negative.
Initially, a person will be considered to have immunity during the period after a positive test spanning from the 11th day to the sixth month.
The exact duration of the certificate’s validation will be reviewed over the coming months.
The Health Ministry spokesperson said: “this certificate is not a passport, it’s not a travel document, and it’s not a requirement for travel,” adding “It’s a mechanism that will facilitate mobility in the European Union. It will respect data protection, safety and privacy”
The June date is key for the government’s ” save the summer” tourism plan in which it is hoped that as many as 40 million foreign visitors will arrive in Spain.
If this is achieved it would also save hundreds of thousands of jobs and businesses in a sector that had been decimated by the collapse in tourist arrivals to the country.
In 2019 the tourist sector made up about 14% of Spain´s GDP but this was slashed to just 4% in 2020 due to the pandemic and freeze in international travel.
The EU passport scheme excludes arrivals from the United Kingdom which is Spain´s largest tourist market with around 18 million visitors in 2019 but which is now outside the block.
However it is hoped that the EU or individual nations within will come to a reciprocal arrangement with the UK and other key markets from developed countries such as United States and Canada.