Travellers at an airport. | PEDRO NUNES

Spain will allow travellers from Britain and Japan into the country without a negative PCR test for COVID-19 from May 24, according to an order published in the state gazette on Friday.

UK restrictions still require travellers returning to Britain from Spain to isolate upon arrival.

Britain, Spain's largest market for foreign tourists, will be included on the list, as well as Australia, New Zealand and Israel among others.

"They're welcome - more than welcome - without restrictions nor health controls," he told reporters at the fair.

With hotel reservations already recuperating since a state of emergency expired earlier this month, Sanchez said the new travel regime would allow international tourist arrivals to reach up to 70% of pre-pandemic levels by the end of the year.

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This summer he forecast arrivals could reach 30%-40% of 2019's levels. The number of foreign tourists to Spain plummeted more than 80% in 2020 following the COVID-19 restrictions.