Europe, Latest on coronavirus outbreak

Spain to open tourism when 30-40% of nation immunized

Tourism minister says government expects this to occur by spring

Alyssa McMurtry   | 10.03.2021
Spain to open tourism when 30-40% of nation immunized A restaurant in Madrid, Spain in December, 2020. ( Burak Akbulut - Anadolu Agency )

OVIEDO, Spain

Spain's tourism minister said Tuesday that the government plans to start reopening the country's tourism sector when 30-40% of the Spanish population is vaccinated against the coronavirus. 

Speaking to local broadcaster Canal Sur, Maraa Reyes Maroto said the government expects this could be achieved by spring and that she was "optimistic" about the summer tourism season.

"In April, we'll receive 5 million doses from Pfizer alone. Add that to the doses of Moderna, AstraZeneca and Jansen, which is just one dose and should be approved in the next few days," she said.

Within the EU, Spain is strongly advocating for "health passports" that would show whether or not a traveler has been vaccinated against COVID-19, taken a test or been infected in the past.

Last summer, Spain launched an aggressive international tourism campaign but the industry has been devastated by the pandemic.

At the moment, 1.4 million people in Spain have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and the country has administered 4.8 million doses.

According to calculations by local daily El Espanol, if all the doses arrive as planned, everyone in Spain older than 45 years of age should be fully immunized by July.

Meanwhile, new infections in Spain remained low despite reopenings and the increasing dominance of the UK variant.

Spain's Health Ministry reported just over 4,000 new cases, although technical issues meant it did not include data from Catalonia.

Fatalities remained high, however, with nearly 300 more people reported dead from COVID-19. In total, 71,727 people have officially lost their lives to the disease in Spain.

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