Low vaccination rates in popular British expat area of Spain sparks concern

Covid: Travellers recall ‘stressful’ process of pre-travel tests

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Data from the end of November shows only 72 percent of people aged 12 and over had been vaccinated in Torrevieja. The number was 12 percent lower than the wider Valencia region average.

The city of Torrevieja is extremely popular with British expats and is known for its sunny climate and stunning coastline.

Over 30,000 citizens of Torrevieja who were eligible to receive a Covid vaccine had not attended an appointment.

The Torrevieja health department region also includes many other popular expat towns.

Guardamar del Segura, Rojales, Pilar de la Horadada, San Fulgencio, Benijofar, Formentera del Segura, Los Montesinos and Orihuela Costa come under the Torrevieja health department.

Even among the most vulnerable demographic, many people had failed to attend a vaccination appointment.

Over 1,200 people over the age of 80 had not been vaccinated in Spain by the end of November.

The low vaccination rate has led some to question whether British expats are avoiding getting the jab.

However, one reason for the lower rates could be that some Britons have chosen to be vaccinated in the UK.

Although expats with Spanish residency should have access to the Spanish health service, they may have chosen to be vaccinated in their home country.

It is estimated that over 30 percent of residents on Spain’s Costa Blanca are expats and it remains an extremely popular destination with emigrating Britons.

San Fulgencio is home to 56 nationalities but the majority of expats in the town are British people.

There are also many German, Norwegian and Russian people living in the town according to El Pais.

Covid numbers have risen in the Costa Blanca recently which some local authorities have blamed on British tourists.

Many Britons travelled to Benidorm for a winter sun holiday this year, although it is unknown whether tourists have caused Covid numbers to rise.

Benidorm has been offering vaccinations to tourists in an attempt to combat rising Covid numbers.

Unvaccinated British people are no longer allowed to enter Spain due to rising fears of the Omicron variant.

Expats and tourists now need to show a Covid passport to enter venues with capacity for more than 50 people in Benidorm.

Those caught breaking the rule could be fined up to £500 while venues that fail to warn customers could be charged £600.

The Covid health passport is also in use in other regions of Spain and requires holders to be vaccinated, recently recovered or take a test recently.

British tourists should check the regulations in their holiday destinations as rules can vary across Spain.

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