When speaking to reporters at the Fitur tourism fair in Madrid on May 21 Spanish prime minister Pedro Sanchez said:
“From June 7, tourists from other countries with which there is not complete free movement (non-EU), among them the United States, will be able to enter Spain provided they count on a certificate showing they have received their full COVID-19 vaccinations.”
When reporting on follow-ups since the prime ministers’ remarks, the Spanish daily newspaper El Pais says that government sources have told them that certain conditions must be met. Visitors from outside the European Union will need to have received both doses of the vaccine or, in the case of Janssen, a single shot 14 days before arriving in Spain.
Spain will be open from June 7
According to the same government sources, the order is due to be released in the Official State Gazette (BOE) and is still being prepared by Health and Interior ministries. In the meantime, the Embassy of Spain in the United States tweeted to say that Spain would be open to non-EU visitors from Monday, June 7, 2021.
Another question that the order has to clarify is exactly which vaccines will be recognized. The thought is that Spain will only accept people who have been vaccinated by a dose approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
The two bodies have approved the following COVID-19 vaccines:
While the re-opening of borders is good for people living outside the European Union, it is especially important for Latin American countries like Mexico, Ecuador, Argentina, and Colombia. Spain has strong links to these counties and has thousands of residents who have family members who live there. Now thanks to the re-opening of borders, family members who have not seen each other for over a year will be able to reunite.
Iberia Airbus A330
Chinese vaccines Sinopharm and Sinovac-Coronavac are acceptable for entry into Spain. Photo: Iberia
The new measures are also expected to revive long-haul travel between Europe and Asia. The WHO-approved vaccines were administered to millions of people across the continent.
Recovery for the tourism sector
The reopening of the borders is expected to be the beginning of a recovery for the Spanish tourism sector, which was decimated by the pandemic. Before the coronavirus reared its ugly head, Spain was the second most visited country globally. Tourism in Spain accounts for 2.6 million direct jobs and is 12% of Spain’s Gross domestic product (GDP).
In preparation for a long-haul travel recovery, Spanish national flag carrier Iberia is hastily returning passengers seats to some of its Airbus A330 jets that were used to transport medical supplies during the height of the pandemic. The Madrid-Barajas Adolfo Suárez Airport (MAD)-based airline currently flies from Madrid to Miami, New York, and Chicago and will resume flights to Boston and Las Angeles from the 1st of July.
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American carriers are ramping up flights
The big American carriers are also pleased to see Spain reopen to visitors from the United States. United Airlines offers five flights a week between New York and Barcelona and six flights a week between New York and Madrid from July.
United Airlines Boeing 777-300
United Airlines flies to Barcelona and Madrid. Photo: United Airlines
North America’s largest airline American Airlines, is also pleased to see the reopening of Spain to tourism and offers flights from Miami International Airport (MIA), Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), and New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK).
When speaking about Spain reopening to American tourists, American’s Vice President of Network Planning Brian Znotins said:
“American is eager to once again connect leisure customers with Spain. Whether they want to stroll through the Plaza del Sol and take in the excitement of the Spanish capital or relax on a sunny Barcelona beach, American is ready to take them on their journeys.”