Spain holidays threatened as Benidorm branded ‘extreme risk’ for catching Covid

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

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According to the Valencian Health Ministry, the resort recorded 647 coronavirus cases per 100,000 people over 14 days. The extreme risk category is registered at 500 cases per 100,000.

The average Covid number for the whole Valencian community is 319 cases per 100,000 people.

Alicante city recorded 143 cases per 100,000 inhabitants and Elche had 146 cases per 100,000 residents.

Officials fear that numbers could be set to rise over the Christmas period as people come together to celebrate.

Alicante mayor, Luis Barcala, appealed to residents and tourists to obey the Covid restrictions over Christmas.

He said: “We cannot lower our guard because the virus is still active and we must make a new effort to maintain safety distances, avoiding crowds, and complying with the measures.”

New Covid measures in Benidorm require tourists to use a health passport to enter venues with capacity for more than 50 people.

The rules cover bars, restaurants and other hospitality venues and people must be vaccinated, recently recovered or have a negative test to enter.

Tourists and residents could face a fine of up to £500 if they fail to comply with the health passport rules.

Some hospitality owners have said regular customers have “lost their temper” over the new rules.

Pablo Gonzalez, president of hospitality association COBRECA, said: “Regular customers have lost their temper and said they will not return.

“We are and continue to be the sector most mistreated by political decisions during the pandemic.

“Hospitality is a sector of happiness where we don’t ask about people’s political beliefs, whether they are single or not, or whether they are ill.

“We feel coerced as we either apply the passport or face more restrictions.”

Venues can be fined up to £511 for failing to warn customers of the new Covid passport rules in the resort.

Since December 1, unvaccinated British tourists have been banned from entering Spain after fears of the Omicron variant.

The rule upset many family holidays as some teenagers over the age of 12 haven’t had a chance to be fully vaccinated yet.

Benidorm has offered vaccinations to tourists in a bid to control the spread of Covid and keep the tourism industry going.

British tourists need to take a pre-departure test before entering the UK under new rules in place since December 7.

They then need to take a PCR test on or before day two after arrival and self isolate until they receive the result.

Britons should check the UK Government website for the latest restrictions before travelling as rules can change quickly.

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