Spain: British expat questions enforcement of Covid passes
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Spain is in the midst of its sixth Covid wave and the country’s tourism industry is “reliving its worst nightmare”. The Spanish tourism industry was 12.4 percent of the country’s GDP before the pandemic.
The Spanish travel industry was brought to its knees during the high of the pandemic, but it recovered and the sector “regained some optimism” since the summer.
However, with Omicron, Spain and its tourism industry are again at risk.
El Pais reported José Luis Zoreda, vice-president of Exceltur tourism association saying: “There has been a worrying change of trend.
“In October we were very hopeful because we were starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and six weeks later here we are again, bogged down and waiting to see how long this situation will last.”
With Omicron bringing more travel restrictions both in Spain and overseas, holidaymakers are cancelling their holidays.
Ramón Estalella, general secretary of Cehat hotel association said: “There are people who cancelled early and others who are cancelling at the last minute, but whatever the case there are a lot of cancellations right now.”
Ramón said the ever-evolving entry requirements were stopping many tourists coming into the country.
Coupled with fear of infection and “medieval” restrictions on activities, the tourism industry was reliving its “worst nightmare”, said El Pais.
The Valencia hotel association Hosbec said: “Just 50 percent of tourists are keeping their travel plans in place.”
The Canary Islands fared better, with occupation at around 75 percent.
But this, too, was of concern, with the current season considered high season in the islands.
The president of Las Palmas Federation of Hospitality and Tourism Employers, José María Mañaricúa, said: “We are barely getting any reservations.
“They have been frozen for a month, but this is due to the restrictions across Europe and not because we have any problems here.”
David Morales, president of Skal Tourism organisation in Gran Canaria said: “Sales have stalled, and there is no activity either via tour operators or travel agencies.”
Across the board and all over the country, the Spanish tourism sector was waiting for March, and hopefully an uptake in reservations for the summer, to help them.
Only ski resorts seemed unscathed, with Masella ski resort in Girona reporting almost 100 percent occupation in the area.
Spain has now put all EU/ Schengen countries on its High-Risk list, meaning entry restrictions have been tightened.
The Ministry of Health explained: “As of June 7, if you come from a country/area at risk in relation to Covid, you must present a certificate or document proving vaccination, diagnostic test for active infection (PDIA) or recovery from Covid.
“These certificates will be (treated) different if they have been issued in a country of the European Union (EU Digital Covid Certificate) or in a third country.”
Britons currently need to prove their full vaccination status to enter Spain, as well as fill out a Health Control Form.
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