OVIEDO, Spain

Spanish authorities announced on Thursday that the European Union’s “health passport” will be operational by June and expect that it will eventually be expanded to non-EU countries. 

“It facilitates free movement, but doesn’t restrict it to those who aren’t vaccinated,” Alfredo González, the secretary general of Digital Health, said in a news conference. “It’s not a requisite to travel, it’s a certificate that allows mobility.”

He explained that official governing bodies across the EU will issue digital certificates to people who have been vaccinated, recovered from the virus or who have recently tested negative for COVID-19.

The holders of the certificates will be welcomed into Spain without having to undergo quarantine or to take further coronavirus tests in the airport, González explained.

He also announced that he predicts the model will soon be expanded to non-EU countries.

Even with the health certificate, EU countries will still be able to set their own entry requirements. Spain, however, does appear enthusiastic to attract as many tourists as possible this summer.

“Spain will be able to receive more people more safely, restarting economic activity while protecting public health,” González said of the health certificate.

Spain, meanwhile, continues to witness a slow increase in the national coronavirus infection rate. On Thursday, the country reported 9,663 new cases while active hospitalizations decreased slightly.

The Health Ministry also confirmed another 126 COVID-19 deaths, bringing the death toll to 76,882.

The country has vaccinated 18.2% of its population with one jab, while 6.9% of Spanish residents have been fully immunized.

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