Spanish Government Lifts Cruise Ship Ban

The Spanish government have announced in a ministry of transport press release that it will allow cruise ships to dock in Spanish ports from 7th June.

The announcement comes over a year after the ban was introduced in Spring 2020 in a bid to combat the spreading coronavirus pandemic.

Cruises had been blamed as a leading cause of spreading the disease, as infected passengers visited ports and destinations across the world.

A number of cruise ships were held in quarantine as local authorities refused to disembark passengers that could have been infected with Covid-19.

Spain is the second most visited destination for cruise stops in Europe as well as having the ports of Barcelona and Malaga for cruise starts and finishes.

However with the falling incident rate in the country, as well as internationally, the move is a signal that Spain is reopening its struggling tourism industry that has seen numbers and income plummet due to the freeze on international travel.

According to the International Cruise Ship Association the sector was worth some 2.8 billion Euros to the Spanish economy in 2019 and generated some 50,000 jobs.

In addition the cruise industry has adopted stringent conditions for passengers; with only those vaccinated allowed aboard as well as ships with reduced capacity.

The Spanish ministry of transport´s bulletin said “shipping companies will have to comply with measures established by the health ministry … to guarantee total security, both for cruise passengers and for the cities where they land.”

The Spanish government recenly reopened the border to international tourists including those who have not been vaccinated as well as dropping the requirement for testing prior to arrival from a number of key markets such as the UK and Japan.

The EU is likely to begin its vaccine passport scheme to allow passengers from further afield such as the United States to enter Spain as visitors from the end of June.