Vaccine passports could be 'unnecessarily divisive' says expert
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The Balearic Islands’ tourism minister has confirmed the popular holiday destination will be the first in Spain to put in place vaccine passports for tourists. Iago Negueruela made the revelation during a response to a question from another politician in a regional parliament session on Tuesday.
He gave no details about when the pilot scheme would start operating.
His comments follow a meeting in Madrid last month where he and Balearic Islands’ president Francina Armengol urged Spanish tourism minister Maria Reyes Maroto to let them become the first part of Spain to welcome back foreign visitors who have been inoculated.
Reyes Maroto confirmed earlier this month her ministry was leading a government commission looking at the issue.
Today/yesterday (TUE) it emerged Jet2 had told Majorcan hoteliers to prepare for the “massive arrival” of British holidaymakers from June 2.
Palma-based travel magazine Preferente reported the travel company said it expects the holiday season in the Balearics to kick off properly at the start of June.
It said: “Jet2 has informed Majorcan hoteliers that it is scheduling the beginning of the massive arrival of Brits on the island for June 2.
“This is what Preferente has been told by tourist chiefs.”
However, Britons will not be able to travel until May 17 at the earliest.
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The Government’s Global Travel Taskforce is set to resume from April.
They will discuss the possibility of overseas travel, as well as how vaccine passports could impact UK travellers.
The EU is expected to set out details of its own “digital green pass”, which will act much live a vaccine passport.
The scheme will set out details of whether or not a traveller has been vaccinated.
However, non-vaccinated people will also be able to jet off if they can prove they have antibodies after recovering from Covid, or negative COVID-19 test results.
German tourists are expected to start arriving in large numbers in Majorca at Easter, with the number of flights between Germany and Majorca’s Son Sant Joan airport expected to jump from around seven a day at the moment to 50 a day from April 1.
Germany removed the Balearic Islands from its ‘red list’ of risk areas last Friday after a drop in the number of coronavirus cases.
The decision means German tourists can travel to the Balearics, which include the popular British holiday islands of Ibiza and Menorca as well as Majorca, without having to quarantine when they return home.
All they need to enter the islands as holidaymakers is proof they are free of coronavirus to travel.
Mr Negueruela is urging visitors to respect local anti-Covid rules and regulations, including limits on the numbers of people who can eat together.
He said in Palma Tuesday: “Now is the moment for a slow and sensible de-escalation so we’re prepared for the summer season.”
Local reports say hotels that put tourists who don’t live together in the same room will face fines.
Additional reporting by Natalia Penza.
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