Americans will be able to travel to Spain before the European Union to formally set a date to begin admitting vaccinated travelers.
Travelers from anywhere in the world who have been fully vaccinated with an approved vaccine are allowed to enter Spain from June 7.
Travelers will have to show proof they received their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or their single Johnson & Johnson injection at least 14 days prior to entering Spain.
Spain also announced it will permit unvaccinated minor children to enter the country as long as they are in the same traveling group as their vaccinated parents. Children 6 and up will need a COVID negative test.
Following the news, United Airlines announced it would resume five times a week service between New York/Newark and Barcelona and a six-times-a-week service between New York/Newark and Madrid, both beginning in July.
United said is increasing flights across Europe and will operate the following routes to European countries which have recently announced plans to welcome tourists who meet the destination requirements, also including to Italy.
American Airlines is also planning on increasing service to Spain. The carrier is currently running two daily flights to Spain – Miami International Airport to Barcelona and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport to Madrid – and is planning to double the number of flights in June. The two additional flights, from MIA and New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, will both be to Madrid starting June 17.
Spain’s heavily tourism-reliant economy has suffered severely amid COVID-19. Foreign tourism in 2020 plummeted by 80 percent, while the usual leisure travelers were obliged to shelter at home amid lockdowns and various restrictions.
According to Reuters, Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez anticipates that the return of tourism, about 12% of the nation’s GDP, will raise the country’s foreign tourism numbers back up to 70% of their pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2021. The prime minister also predicted that this summer those levels could reach between 30% and 40% of the ones recorded in 2019.
The announcement comes after the EU announced that it would reopen to outside travelers who have been vaccinated and just after the bloc agreed on terms of its EU Digital COVID Certificate, a digital or paper document providing proof of vaccination or a COVID-19 test if necessary.