Spain has allowed international cruise ships to call at its ports. The rules include vaccination certificates and antigen testing.
More than a year after the port was closed due to the covid-19 pandemic, Spain has just opened its borders to international cruise passengers. In Portugal, due to sanitary requirements to curb the spread of the virus, the cruise industry is still operating at a low speed. Countries such as Greece, Italy, Germany or the United Kingdom have also given the green light to the industry.
Minister of State for Tourism Rita Marks admitted that soon it is possible to unify rules at the European level, defining the acceptance of all vaccinated tourists, and clarifying the requirements for PCR testing and/or antigen testing. At the “Cruise Tourism in Portugal” webinar organized by the International Cruise Lines Association (CLIA) on Tuesday, Rita Marques stated that she hopes “good news will come soon.”
At the event, Luís Araújo, President of the Portuguese Tourism Agency, recalled that Portugal does not have a port with a “clean and safe” seal and the certification must be operational. “This is a way to bridge the gap between tourism and health, economy and health,” he said. In his view, these restrictions “should be changed in the short term”, especially because “the vaccination process is progressing smoothly, the pressure on the health system is decreasing, and we have more information about the disease.”
Starting from May 17th, the Portuguese mainland port can receive cruise ships. However, a PCR test is required, and the result takes about four hours so that passengers can disembark, which is not an attractive factor for the industry.
Since this Monday (June 7), Spanish ports can almost receive tourists from all over the world, as long as the passengers prove that they have been vaccinated, or for Europeans, they have undergone an antigen test.