Spain's tourism minister, Reyes Maroto, has reiterated that the government is working on establishing safe tourist travel corridors with the country's main tourism markets, such as the UK and Germany.
Speaking on television in Andalusia on Thursday evening, Maroto stressed that Spain was a pioneer in developing these corridors last year and that there had been negotiations with the UK and Germany about their reopening before "the third wave" of the pandemic prevented this. Both the UK and Germany, she added, are currently "closed", while Spain has mobility limitations because of new variants of the virus. It was nevertheless important, she explained, to have corridors ready.
On the vaccine passport, Maroto said that Prime Minister Sánchez had expressed his support for this during Thursday's videoconference of EU leaders. The passport "will allow us to regain safe mobility", something to which other tools - PCR tests and safe corridors - contribute. She accepted that there is a debate as to the passport but added that there is also consensus on the need for it in order to guarantee safe mobility. "We are working with the EU so that there are common protocols."
Regarding prospects for foreign tourism this summer, the minister insisted that work is being done so that there is international mobility. "Destinations are making preparations, and we hope that mobility conditions will be met. We now have something that we didn't have last summer, and that is vaccines."
Asked about when the passport and corridors might be implemented, Maroto observed that this will depend on the opening of tourism supplier markets. In this respect, the UK has given a date - May 17 - which "seems to be when restrictions will be eliminated or reduced".