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Spain to have vaccine passport system ready by June, tourism minister

Spain's tourism minister Reyes Maroto has said her government plans to have its vaccine passport system ready for tourists by June, although negative PCR tests will still be accepted to enter the country.

Spain to have vaccine passport system ready by June, tourism minister
The vaccine passport will look more like a mobility pass than an actual passport and will probably take the form of a QR code. This image shows a similar vaccine document being used in France. Stock photo: Pascal GUYOT / AFP

“The forecast is to be able to have the process ready by June,” said Maroto at a meeting with Baleric Island President Francina Armengol, along with tourism industry officials and union leaders.  

In order to have the passport operational by June however, Maroto said it will be necessary “to have a significant percentage of the population vaccinated”. This will need to be at least thirty to forty percent. “We need the maximum certainty in order to have a season without taking risks,” she added.

The Spanish government has said that its aim is to vaccinate 70 percent of the population by the end of the summer, however, the vaccine rollout has been slow. This has been due to supply issues, as well as the temporary suspension of the AstraZeneca vaccine. 

Spanish authorities had also previously set themselves the target of completing 70 percent of the national vaccination campaign before welcoming tourists back en masse, but on March 10th Spanish authorities revised this figure down to 30 to 40 percent vaccinated.

READ ALSO: UPDATE: How is Spain’s vaccination campaign going? 

The Balearic Islands have requested to be the first to test out the vaccination passport pilot scheme, however, Maroto insisted that this will not be necessary because the government is keen to see the scheme rolled out across the whole country.

Maroto said that the passport will look more like a mobility pass and will probably take the form of a QR code.

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Tourism officials in the Balearics have welcomed the move, but have also requested that this not be the only way to restore travel.

They have asked that negative PCR or antigen tests also be accepted, so as not to rule anyone out.

It is estimated that there are currently around 8,000 tourists holidaying in the Balearic Islands, however, Spanish residents are not allowed to travel there as the borders of each region will be closed over Easter.

Currently, a negative PCR test is required from anyone entering Spain by air or sea.

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COVID-19

Spanish PM tests positive for Covid

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has announced that he has tested positive for COVID-19.

Spanish PM tests positive for Covid

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said on Sunday that he had tested positive for Covid and temporarily suspended all engagements just two days after returning from the UN General Assembly meeting.

“This morning, I tested positive for Covid-19,” Sánchez tweeted, adding he would not be attending a meeting of the Catalan region’s Socialists in Barcelona.

Sánchez, who returned from New York on Friday, said he would continue working but take the utmost precautions. It is unclear if the Prime Minister is suffering symptoms, or feeling unwell.

On Friday, he is due to host a meeting in the southeastern city of Alicante of the MED7 group of southern European countries, and is expected to be on the road doing public events much more in the coming year as part of a ramp up to the general election sometime in late-2023.

The tour, reportedly including 30 events organised to increase Sánchez’s contact with Spaniards, is intended to allow him to better explain the measures taken by the government in response to the cost of living crisis, increase his public interaction, and leave behind the more traditional rally format.

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