British holidaymakers being blamed for spike in Covid cases in Benidorm

There are 286 Covid-19 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in Benidorm, health authorities said. Ana Barcelo, Minister of Health for the Valencian regional government, warned that restrictions could be reintroduced

The number of Covid-19 cases in Benidorm has increased (

Image: SOLARPIX.COM)

British vacationers are blamed for an increase in Covid-19 cases in Benidorm.

Ana Barcelo, Minister of Health of the Valencian regional government, expressed her fears after the popular resort was classified in Spain’s Covid category “extreme risk”.

The city’s 14-day cumulative incidence rate per 100,000 population is now 286.

British tourists who continue to unpack bars at the resort with shirts off and tan on the beach under blue skies this week have been identified as perpetrators by officials.

Ms Barcelo said during a press conference that coronavirus restrictions could be reinstated if things worsened.

Health authorities have blamed British tourists for the rise in Covid cases
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Image:

SOLARPIX.COM)

She said: “We are watching the situation in Benidorm and the rise in Covid cases there with concern.

“There are 286 cases per 100,000 population and 53 percent of these cases were observed in the non-Spanish nationals group.

“We will watch how things develop and take action to control the situation if necessary.”

Pointing at British vacationers specifically, she added, “We started to see the increase in the number of cases after October 5th, when more tourists from the UK started arriving.”

Benidorm’s Covid numbers are six times the average in the province of Alicante to which the city belongs.

There are 286 Covid-19 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in Benidorm
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The Hosbec regional hotel association says the numbers are skewed because they fail to take into account the population of tourists and vacation home owners, who triple the number of full-time residents.

The organization wants officials to change the way they calculate coronavirus statistics, but health chiefs claim it is impossible.

Hosbec President Toni Mayor insisted today that the real number would be around 100 cases per 100,000 people if the swimming population were taken into account.

The hotel association also pointed out that at the beginning of the week, just eight patients with Covid were treated in wards of the Marina Baixa Hospital in Villajoyosa near Benidorm, which serves 300,000 residents.

Although the mood among British vacationers appeared to be relaxed, local reports this week indicated a slowdown in vacation bookings by British tourists.

Tourists continued to travel to Benidorm this week
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SOLARPIX.COM)

Spanish media last week quickly linked the surge in Covid cases to the reactivation of British tourism, and the daily El Mundo said, “Benidorm’s Covid rate will skyrocket when British holidaymakers return.”

The dismal numbers came after it was discovered that 22 percent of the resort’s visitors are now from the UK and the UK has been returned to its traditional top spot ahead of second-placed Belgium.

They also coincide with a worsening Covid situation in the UK.

Brits have been flocking to Benidorm since the travel restrictions were eased earlier this month with the overhaul of the UK traffic light system and the elimination of airworthiness and double-thrust tests for tourists.

The resort’s Little England began to hum again earlier this year when the British were told with double blows that they would no longer need to be quarantined on their return from Spain and that some hotels were reopening for the first time in more than 12 months.

After a bank holiday last week, it was confirmed that UK vacationers now account for more than 20 percent of all visitors.

Toni Mayor said earlier this month: “The situation has improved dramatically. There is a British atmosphere in Benidorm which reminds me of the atmosphere before the pandemic broke out.

“Right now, about 20 percent of vacationers in the city are British and with the other 20 percent who will hopefully return after the restrictions are eased, we’ll be back to what we were three years ago.

“We hope that will happen. All of the bars and cafes in Little England are open and doing good business because they are full.

“We assume that the number of British people vacationing here will increase quickly and that there could be a massive increase.

“It looks like it’s going to be a good fall and a good winter, possibly the best winter we’ve had in years.

“We know the British want to come to Benidorm, and with the restrictions lifted, it will obviously encourage them to get on planes.”

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