COVID: Spain relaxes entry rules for Britons ahead of summer holidays

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Unvaccinated Britons planning summer holidays in Spain will be able to enter the country more easily as the government is relaxing COVID restrictions.

The health requirements for people visiting from the UK and elsewhere outside the EU are now going to be aligned with those from inside the Schengen area.

Visitors will need to show either their COVID vaccination certificates, a negative PCR test, or a certificate showing they had recovered from coronavirus within the last 180 days.

Children under the age of 12 are exempt from having to show any certificates.

Spain's minister for tourism Reyes Maroto said: "This is excellent news, highly anticipated by the tourism sector, which facilitates the arrival of tourists from outside the EU with a view to guaranteeing safe journeys during the high season."

It follows the Spanish tourist board in London rapidly reversing its decision to open up the country to unvaccinated British travellers back in April.

The board had announced that Spain would welcome all UK holidaymakers with immediate effect, with those unvaccinated against COVID allowed to enter with a negative pre-departure test.

But the decision was reversed in a matter of hours - with the board's deputy director saying the announcement was a "miscommunication" caused by a "misinterpretation of the rules" laid out in a Spanish health department bulletin.

Spain remains the most popular destination for British travellers, with the nation welcoming 18.1 million visitors from the UK in 2019 - an average of 50,000 arrivals per day.

Tourist figures dropped during the COVID pandemic, with Spain imposing further tough entry requirements at the beginning of this year, insisting all arrivals aged 12 or older were fully vaccinated.

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