Holidays: Tourism Secretary ‘desperate’ to welcome Brits to Spain
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Transport secretary Grant Shapps confirmed a list of countries Britons can travel to from May 17. Sadly for many in the UK, Spain did not make the green list.
Only 12 countries were put on the “green” list, which means it is no longer illegal for people in England to travel to those locations from May 17.
While Spain did not make the cut, some of its neighbours did.
Both Portugal and Gibraltar were announced as places Britons can travel to later this month without needing to quarantine on their return.
Instead, Spain has been placed on the “amber list”, which means travellers need to take pricey tests and quarantine if they travel to the holiday hotspot.
However, mayor of Benidorm Toni Perez has shared his disappointment at Spain missing out.
He has insisted the Costa Blanca resort is “green” and the decision not to put it on a par with Portugal and Gibraltar is “incomprehensible”.
Mr Perez has demanded a meeting with the UK Ambassador to Spain to find out more on the “reality” of the holiday destination.
Benidorm town hall officials pointed out today the cumulative 14 day incidence per 100,000 inhabitants is just 43 cases in the Valencia region, which includes the Costa Blanca region.
In Alicante and Benidorm specifically, the number of cases was 10 points lower.
A town hall statement said: “Benidorm has better data than Portugal (58.9).
“The evolution of vaccination is also going at a good rate in the Valencian Community with the arrival of more vaccines in the last month, with 31 percent of people vaccinated with one dose, and 13.4 percent with the full vaccination schedule.
“For the mayor of Benidorm this situation is incomprehensible.
“He has asked to be able to personally inform the British ambassador about the reality of the Benidorm tourist destination in which the British market accounts for 40 percent of the tourist demand in the city.”
Last month, Mr Perez urged the UK and Spain to allow British holidaymakers to return to the area.
He said: “We know the Brits want to visit our wonderful beaches and embrace our marvellous sunshine — and that day can’t come soon enough for us, too.
“Benidorm without the Brits is just not the same. We are missing you as much as you are missing us.”
Some British expats have been struggling with the lack of tourism in Spain due to restrictions and the country not making the “green” list is the latest blow to their livelihood.
A number of expats have had to receive help to return to the UK as they have not been able to make a living without tourism.
This was the case for mum-of-three Lindsey Evers and her partner Peter Chadwick, originally from Halifax, who have to return to the UK 10 years after emigrating.
Lindsey has not been able to work in her job as a waitress and the family has been surviving with the help of a food bank run by Benidorm’s British Businesses Association while they arrange their return home.
Additional reporting by Natalia Penza.
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