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Meeting of EU tourism ministers

Spain urges European Commission to speed up European vaccination "passport" to recover mobility while guaranteeing safe travel

Monday 1 March 2021

During the meeting, Minister Maroto called for the need to make progress on adopting common protocols in all the Member States to avoid prohibitions on the movement of travellers within the internal market and also with third countries, particularly in the case of the United Kingdom, since coordination on this matter will be essential for assuring the gradual recovery of tourism.

Reyes Maroto argued "that the passports would be a useful and effective tool to resume safe mobility". The minister also stressed that "efforts should be stepped up to guarantee greater coordination and communication of the measures related to travel at an EU level in order to avoid discriminatory measures between citizens and recover confidence among travellers". Reyes Maroto underlined that "it is important to have tools ready to resume mobility and place Europe as a destination for safe travel once again, when the figures on the evolution of the virus so allow".

The minister stressed that the priority must continue to be speeding up the vaccination process to protect the public while urging the Commission to draw up a coordinated proposal to resume the free movement of people, which will be key and give a tremendous boost to support the relaunch of travel and of the tourism sector, which has been particularly hard hit by mobility restrictions.

Reyes Maroto also asked the Commission to develop an ambitious EU tourism recovery programme under the new budgetary framework that will ensure that Europe continues to be a benchmark tourism destination on a global scale.

Lastly, the Minister for Tourism stated that the General Block Exemption Regulation on aid compatible with the internal market should be extended to strengthen the framework for State support and foster schemes to support the solvency of tourism companies that will take longer to recover their activity than those in other economic sectors.

Non official translation