Spain to introduce vaccine passports by June & country announces u-turn on mandatory masks on the beach

HOLIDAYMAKERS will be able to travel to Spain using vaccine passports by June.

The country's tourism minister Reyes Maroto revealed that their green vaccine passports will be ready in time for the start of their summer season.

She said: "The forecast is for it to be operational in Spain by June. In order to put it into operation, it will be important to have a significant percentage of the population vaccinated – between 30 and 40 per cent and rising to 70 per cent in June.

"We need the maximum certainty in order to have a season without taking risks.”

Spain has already lifted the UK travel ban, but there is no news yet from the government on when travel abroad will be permitted in England.

The Prime Minister is set to make an announcment on Monday April 5, with more details on whether foreign holidays will be allowed on April 12.

However, holidays will not resume before May 17, with fears this will be pushed back further due to the second wave spreading through Europe.

But in good news for Brits when Spanish holidays are eventually allowed, tourists could be spared having to wear face masks on beaches after the country’s government bowed to pressure from regional health chiefs.

Spain’s Health Minister Carolina Darias announced today that further discussions will now take place to try to find a solution that will appease critics in areas like the Balearic Islands and the Costa del Sol.

Yesterday, it emerged tourists would face 100 euro (£85) fines if they tried to top up their tans without face coverings at the beach and around swimming pools, anywhere on the Spanish mainland or its islands.

It followed the introduction of new legislation which came into force this morning and made face masks on beaches and around swimming pools obligatory at all times, even when social distancing was guaranteed.

The new rule was immediately criticised by regional health chiefs in tourist areas like the Balearics and the Costa del Sol, where sunbathers alone or in groups of people they live with can take their face masks off when they are on their towels and not moving around.

It is not yet clear if Brits will be allowed to holiday abroad later this year.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Monday the door “was not shut” on foreign holidays this summer, but added: “It’s just too early to say.”

Public Health England’s lab in Porton Down is trying to determine whether current vaccines are less protective against variants of coronavirus such as those found in South Africa and Brazil.

Mr Hancock told ITV’s This Morning: “We’re not yet sure, but we’re doing the science in Porton Down, and watching very closely, and if that all goes well, then we haven’t got a problem and then we’ll be much more relaxed about international travel.

“We will know more over the next few weeks.”

The fine for not wearing face masks in Spain in situations where they are mandatory is 100 euros (£85).

Adults with illnesses that cause breathing difficulties and children under six will continue to be allowed to go without face coverings in public.

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