The Minister of Tourism, Reyes Maroto, has announced that starting next week, UK travellers arriving in Spain will no longer need to present proof of a negative PCR test if they have been vaccinated, or if the incidence of covid is below 60 cases per one hundred thousand inhabitants.
The measure affects all British arrivals to the province, regardless of whether they are residents, property owners or holidaymakers.
The announcement was made at the Fitur 2021 International Travel Fair in Madrid where it was met, according to the Spanish press, “with hope and satisfaction.”
However, many businessmen and hoteliers say that they still remain very cautious as the one thing still missing is for Spain to appear in the UK’s Green Travel List when it is reviewed in a couple of weeks time, which will then negate the requirements for travellers to undergo quarantine on their return to the UK.
Despite the excellent data on the incidence of covid, currently 22 cases per one hundred thousand residents in the United Kingdom, 25 in Benidorm and less than 30 in the Valencian Community, many hoteliers say that they still don’t trust the data, nor do they believe in the government’s ability to recover British tourism.
But the president of the Provincial Council, Carlos Mazón, who is the head of the Costa Blanca delegation at Fitur, insisted that the region is completely safe and that holidaymakers can have every confidence in the Community.
He also said that the British Government is also under pressure from its own tourism industry especially from airlines and tour operators, who move millions of tourists around the world, four million in the Costa Blanca.
Nuria Montes, general secretary of the Hosbec hotel management association, also said “At the fair there is optimism and there are signs of recovery but we must be very cautious because Boris Johnson can decide anything he wants, from placing Spain in the green travel list, keeping it at amber or freeing only the Canary and Balearic Islands for British tourists. But we continue to work very hard in insisting that the restrictions should be territorialised as in the Valencian Community we have less incidence than in many parts of the United Kingdom.”
In a development on Thursday, the UK Transport Secretary Grant Schapps, provided a boost to Spain tourism when he hinted that the ‘green list’ could be expanded within the next two weeks amid mounting pressure for France, Spain, Italy and Greece to be added.
The positive signs came following warnings that the UK travel industry is being left behind as Europe reopens.