Spaniards entering the UK on holiday must be treated the same as British tourists who go to Spain, warned the country’s tourism minister.
The Spanish tourism ministry said it is in “close talks” with UK ministers about allowing millions of vaccinated Britons looking to spend their summer holidays. Spanish Tourism Minister Fernando Valdés Verelst said on Tuesday that Spain was testing a pilot scheme that would allow those with vaccine passports to enter the country at 46 air and ocean ports.
Speaking to The Telegraph, he said the UK should “accept the same terms for Spanish travelers going to the UK”.
Valdés Verelst added that he expects other countries to provide reciprocal travel.
“There is no point in opening just one side of the equation,” he said.
Although Spain is not currently on the UK-approved “green list” of countries that will be exempted from quarantine on arrival from 17 May, there is hope that it will be added to the list before June.
The government has suggested that an initial selection of “green” countries will be released in early May – and will be reviewed regularly.
Speaking at the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) meeting in Mexico, Mr. Valdés Verelst said: “We are having close conversations with the UK authorities and we are exchanging information about Spain’s digital system and the pilot test that will take place at our airports in May.
“Due to the progress in our vaccine launch, with 22% of our population already having their first dose, we expect the green light in June.
“It is also great that the UK government has said that it will take into account the situation on the individual islands.
“We don’t want a scenario like last year, where it was interrupted in terms of permission to travel.”
Britain’s Minister of Tourism Nigel Huddleston told the WTTC that he was looking forward to reopening international travel and asked other countries to articulate on vaccination certificate issues.
“We absolutely want to work, and we are working closely, with our partners in the EU and, indeed, around the world,” he said.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps confirmed on Wednesday that the NHS application will be used as the British vaccine passport, which could allow millions of Britons to travel abroad this summer.
Mr. Shapps acknowledged that, although it is comparatively still at the beginning of the roadmap, “it looked good” for international travel to resume when Step 3 is announced on May 17.