Brits vow 'we're not going back' after first flights to Spain resume

Sun-seeking Brits arrived in Spain this morning and one family said: “We will not be going back.”

The Mirror was on board a fully packed first flight from Stansted Airport at 6:35 a.m., which landed at 10 a.m. Spanish time at Alicante Airport, which serves Benidorm.

Among those landings were Luke Stevens (29) and partner Elesha Bacon (27) with their children Freddie (five) and Mia (six months).

They start a new life in Pinar de Campoverde with Luke’s parents Dave (55) and Jacqueline (67), whom they haven’t seen for six months.

The couple emigrates to Spain, where Luke Stevens and Son’s butcher set up in the village.

Luke, a butcher since he was 14, and Elesha were scheduled to fly out before Christmas to meet the rest of the family but were stranded in Great Dunmow, Essex because of the pandemic.

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“We’re here in the sun and we won’t be going back,” said a joyful Luke.

“We’re emigrating – I’ve set up a shop out here, everything’s sorted.

“We signed the lease last year, but we couldn’t get out because of the virus.”

Emotional Dave, 55, said, “It’s great to see them all, it’s been six months and it feels even longer.”

Lorraine Swettenham, 59, of Cleveleys, Lancs, booked her flight from Manchester a month ago.

The Stevens family is reunited at Alicante Airport with Luke's father Dave and his wife Jacqueline, who already live in Spain

“I was hoping the Spanish restrictions would have been lifted in the meantime, so I purposely booked them for today,” she told Spiegel.

She runs a market stall in Benidorm with her husband George, who comes to see her on June 4th, while a friend picks her up on Sunday.

“I have a lot to do since I haven’t been here for a long time,” she said.

“But I’ll find some time to relax at some point.

“It’s nice to be back and I hope Spain is removed from the amber list soon. Why would the UK have a 10-day quarantine if you’ve been vaccinated? It doesn’t make sense to me.”

The 67-year-old Jacqueline from Alicante welcomes her daughter-in-law and her grandchildren after six months

As of today, vacationers from the UK do not need to present a negative test to enter Spain.

This morning, 61-year-old Cambridge-year-old Elizabeth Chapman flew out of Stansted for an emotional reunion with her daughter and two grandchildren in Benidorm.

She hasn’t seen them in over a year.

“It feels emotional and I’m trying to keep it together – can’t wait to see them all and give them a hug,” she said.

Lorraine Swettenham, who has a stand in Benidorm, arrives in Alicante

“I booked on Friday when I realized that Spain was opening up to the UK.

“I had both vaccinations and did a PCR test, although it is not required now.”

For Carole Hutchison and her partner Christopher Couper from Fife, the reason for the trip is completely different.

The couple had booked a fertility treatment in Alicante and were in a race against time as they had to arrive at the clinic by noon.

Shortly after 10 a.m., a taxi was waiting for them at the airport to land.

The clinic didn’t thaw the embryos until the couple told them they were on the plane and ready to go.

Passengers wait to board their Ryanair flight to Alicante at Stansted Airport as Spain opens its borders to British travelers

They were scheduled to fly to Spain from Edinburgh via Heathrow on Friday but were told they would not be allowed due to restrictions in Spain.

This despite flying twice to the same clinic for treatment last year when the country was under Covid restrictions.

Green list

12 countries including Portugal, Israel, Iceland, Australia and New Zealand

Each country has its own requirements so the type of pre-flight test you will need will be different.

Portugal requires a negative PCR test 48 hours prior to travel.

Travelers are required to take a test before returning to the UK – however, this can be a (cheaper) cross-river test.

No quarantine, but perform a PCR test on the second day.

Yellow list

Including France, Spain, Greece, Cyprus, Italy and the USA

Each country has its own entry requirements. The type of test you need to take before boarding depends on the destination.

Arrivals must self-isolate for 10 days upon arrival in the UK – this can be done at home.

Travelers should take PCR tests on the second and eighth days after their return.

Red List

Vacation travel is currently banned in countries such as Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, South Africa, Brazil and the Seychelles

For emergency travel only – and every country has its own rules.

Red List returnees will have to pay £ 1,750 to review their 10-day quarantine at a hotel designated by the UK government.

You will also need to have PCR tests performed on the second and eighth days after you return to the UK.

Carole, 42, an NHS health practitioner, said before boarding the flight, “It’s been incredibly stressful and we have to hurry once we land in Alicante and try to get through the airport as soon as possible.”

“I’ve been taking the necessary medication for months and there is a window in which it can happen. We couldn’t believe we weren’t allowed to fly on Friday.

“Ten minutes after we were told that Spain would be open from today, we booked this flight.

Carole Hutchinson and Christopher Couper on an early Monday morning Ryanair flight to Alicante

“We lost a lot of money on the flight and that’s a massive relief we can get on this flight, but of course it’s very stressful.”

“We’re flying back tomorrow (Tuesday) to quarantine for 10 days.”

Karen Flaun, 49, lives in Mercia and returned to the UK in November to visit her family, intending to stay for Christmas – but has since been bogged down.

“It’s been great to spend so much time with the family, but of course I’m looking forward to going back to my house in Mercia and seeing what the house is like – and of course getting some sun.”

Deli Watt, 82, and husband Alexander, 83, of Oundle, Northamptonshire, booked three weeks ago to return to their vacation home in Xatipia.

“It is a godsend that Spain is reopening and that we are on this flight right now. We took a chance when we booked it and it paid off.

“We’re really looking forward to being out there again after such a difficult year.”


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