Majorca And Ibiza Offer To Welcome Tourists With Vaccine Passports
Majorca and Ibiza have offered to trial welcoming tourists with vaccine passports.
Iago Negueruela, the tourism minister of the Balearic Islands - which includes Majorca, Ibiza, Menorca and Formentera - proposed that the islands should become a 'pilot destination' for the passports.
Speaking following a meeting of tourism ministers in Madrid on Friday (19 February), he said: "We have offered to become one of the first parts of Spain where the vaccine passport is trialled.
"We showed with last year's pilot that we can work effectively and the Spanish government's response to our proposal was very positive.
"We will focus our efforts from now on in becoming a lead region in the implementation of immunity certificates to facilitate mobility."
Last year, the Balearic Islands welcomed German tourists a week prior to national restrictions being lifted as part of a trial scheme, and the islands are happy to be the guinea pig once again.
Negueruela added: "This will mean that the Balearics will once again be one of the first destinations to open. We have the experience gained last year with the tourist pilot plan.
"The Balearics are committed to safe tourism for all those who come and who live on the islands. This is why we want a health passport that will allow better control of access to our territory.
"We have today taken a decisive step in being pioneers in doing this."
It comes after the country's secretary of state for tourism Francisco Valdes said he was 'looking forward' to welcoming Brits again.
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The UK government has come under pressure from travel companies to introduce vaccine passports, with lockdown restrictions ravaging the tourism industry.
The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) wrote to prime minister Boris Johnson asking him to relax travel advice in the coming weeks and months.
The letter read: "We know that it is too early to put a specific date on the return of international travel and that there will be a need for flexibility in the approach, but what we need are some principles for restarting travel - recognising that the return to normal life will never be entirely risk free."
However, the government has previously stated that no such passports will be introduced.
Asked by Sky News' Sophy Ridge if they were being considered, minister for business and industry and Covid vaccine deployment Nadhim Zahawi said: "No, we're not. One, we don't know the impact of the vaccines on transmission.
"Two, it would be discriminatory and I think the right thing to do is to make sure that people come forward to be vaccinated because they want to rather than it be made in some way mandatory through a passport.
"If other countries obviously require some form of proof, then you can ask your GP because your GP will hold your records and that will then be able to be used as your proof you've had the vaccine.
"But we are not planning to have a passport in the UK."
Featured Image Credit: PA
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