‘We are desperate to welcome you!’ Spanish tourism minister begs Britons to return

Fernando Valdes told Britons he was “desperate” to welcome them back this summer as the country ramps up its vaccination programme after months of slow reaction. Mr Valdes discussed how vaccination passports and certifications would be key in revitalising tourism in Spain and hoped travel corridors could be set up with the UK once both sides reach high levels of vaccinations. But the Tourism Minister was hopeful things could change by the summer stating that “safe travel” would be the most important thing for Spanish tourism. 

Mr Valdes appeared on Sky News to discuss the latest plans by UK Government to introduce vaccine passports for summer holidays. 

The divisive issue has been discussed by ministers since the beginning of the year as a way to revitalise the tourism industry. 

Mr Valdes spoke about the likelihood of Brits going to Spain this summer. 

He said: “We are desperate to welcome you this summer!.

“And I think we will be ready here in Spain and we also think that the vaccination programme in the UK is going pretty well. 

“Hopefully we will be seeing this summer the restart of holidays.”

Mr Valdes was then asked what needed to be done to safely reintroduce travel and whether vaccine passports have a part to play. 

He replied: “I think the certification will certainly help up, since the beginning of the pandemic we have been trying to put in place different means to help safe tourism.

“It is true that we have passed through some waves of this pandemic but now I think we are ready because we do have vaccines.

“Once we reach a mutual agreement and we have been having constant conversations with UK authorities the certifications will help tourism from this summer.”

The UK Government said it is fast-tracking the approval of vaccine certification for this summer and predicts they could be in place as soon as May 17 – when many indoor restrictions will be lifted. 

Currently, foreign travel from the UK is illegal and British nationals entering the country are subject to quarantine rules.

A Department for Transport spokesperson said: “We are working on a solution to enable residents to prove their Covid-19 status, including vaccination status, to other countries on the outbound leg.

“We are working on this as a priority and intend to have the solution ready as soon as possible.”

source: express.co.uk