Travel TrendsThe Mediterranean tourist hub jump-started its summer tourism season by welcoming vaccinated visitors from most countries.

Spain comes alive as country reopens

Spain has reopened many of its most popular attractions just in time to welcome visitors from outside of the EU.
Spain has reopened many of its most popular attractions just in time to welcome visitors from outside of the EU. Photo Credit: Getty Images/Gatsi

As of June 7, Spain officially opened its doors to leisure travellers who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19, making this Mediterranean tourist hub another vacation possibility without mandatory quarantine.

Incoming tourists must prove they were inoculated with a vaccine approved by the European Medicines Agency (Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson) at least 14 days before entering Spain, and must also present a negative Covid-19 test. For those who have tested positive for Covid-19 within 90 days of their trip, they must provide proof of their recovery from a licensed healthcare provider.

Spanish authorities have also indicated that unvaccinated children will be allowed entry, provided they travel with vaccinated parents and present proof of a negative Covid-19 test. Children under 6 years old will not be required to show a negative Covid-19 test.

And Spain isn’t the only European country making this move. Last month, ambassadors from 27 EU countries approved a European Commission proposal that would open the doors to international vaccinated travellers. Since then, countries like Greece, France and Iceland, among many others, have begun welcoming international visitors, each with their own set of requirements.

Spain’s Anticipated Tourism Revival

The announcement marks a new dawn for Spain, celebrated as the world’s second-most visited country in 2019 after welcoming a record 83.7 million tourists. That number plummeted to 19 million tourists in 2020 — 80% fewer than the year prior — as Spain fared worse than most European counterparts through the pandemic.

And yet, that gusto and liveliness that characterises Spain is already reviving. In fact, beaches, markets, museums, and public theaters are already open. Currently, there are region-specific restrictions regarding capacity limits at restaurants and bars, as well as for the opening hours of nightclubs.

According to Dolores Alvarez Fanjul, a Madrid-based guide for tour operator Inside Europe, masks are mandatory both inside and outside throughout the country, and Spainards generally respect the rules. However, she believes the outdoor mask policy will be reduced by mid-summer.

Interest in Spain is already heating up due to global pent-up demand. Madrid especially is experiencing a renaissance, with hotel openings including the Four Seasons Hotel in Madrid, which encompasses seven historical buildings that have been transformed into a luxurious metropolitan retreat.

Additionally, Hotel Ritz in Madrid recently underwent a transformative three-year renovation to enhance its facilities while preserving the belle-epoque character of the original 110-year-old property. The El Prado, Reina Sofia, and Thyssen-Bornemisza museums have reopened.

According to Sandra Weinacht, president and co-founder of Inside Europe, Spain was one of the company’s most popular destinations prior to the Covid-19 outbreak. She hopes that post-pandemic travelers will strive to discover Spain’s unfrequented offerings.

“There are so many magical, smaller, lesser-known yet very charming places, still within easy reach to the big cities, but with even more authentic experiences and incredible food, wine and also craft beer,” she said, who hopes travellers will spend more time focusing on one or two regions of the country for a more in-depth and immersive look into the local culture.

Source: TravelAge West

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