Abandoned bars and takeaways on the millionaires’ playground of Puerto Banus have ruined the UK government’s decision not to put Spain on the green travel list.
Politicians and the tourism sector in Spain were keen to lift quarantine restrictions on British tourists upon their return to the UK.
It came when Portugal was removed from the green travel list and downgraded to amber – meaning people can only travel there for essential reasons.
British tourists already in Portugal have until 4 a.m. on Tuesday to leave the country and avoid quarantine at home.
What’s your point of view? Share your thoughts in the comment section
Bars in crowded Puerto Banus, a playground for the rich and famous in Marbella, say British drunkards are the best financiers of any nation and fear they will close if they wait another two months to welcome them back.
Bartender George Vujnovic in John Scott’s British pub said: “Even Puerto Banus is not pandemic-proof – especially without British tourists.
“You often get groups of five or ten and you know how much they’re going to drink and spend a fortune.
Like news? Sign up for one of the Mirror newsletters
“While you might get a French tourist spending € 10 and leaving – there is no comparison.
“If we are not on the UK green list, I could see us and other companies closing. They make up 70 to 80% of our business. It’s crazy that they don’t let people in without quarantine.
“Without the UK we are dead. They are incredible donors.
“In 2019 this whole area would have been overcrowded. Now check it out.
“I also worked in real estate last year and it took a massive blow here. It was a disaster – for us too. “
Business leaders here said last month that 20-30% of shops in Marbella were closed, especially in tourist spots like Puerto Banus or Marbella Old Town.
It is eerily quiet in an almost deserted port of Puerto Banus, where superyachts stretch as far as the eye can see – but only one shows a sign of life while a few non-British tourists are celebrating.
Along a nearby street full of British hotspots like Linekers,
Portside and The Navy Bar, bar owners say they aren’t sure how much longer they can survive without British tourism.
The area should be “totally rammed” with British people at this time of year, it was said, but it was almost deserted.
Oscar Areque, co-owner of The Irish Tavern, said: “Puerto Banus is dominated by British tourists, around 70%, we depend so much on it.
“They are not here now, many places are closed.
“Without her it will be very difficult for a long time. It’s terrible news. “
Ricky Perez owns take-away papizzas where, in a normal year, they buy curry sauce and gravy specifically for Brits who flock in for their nightly meal after work.
“50 percent of our customers are British,” says Ricky, who has been running it for eight years.
“The English love their food, have fun and spend money here, and come every day when they are here.
“When they have $ 1,000, they’ll spend it.
“An English man and an English girl are worth 10 Spanish for what they spend.
“You love Marbella.
“We held on to the news and waited for Boris Johnson to give Spain the green light.
“That affects us very much and it is devastating that we are not on the green list.
“It makes no sense.
“We usually get curry sauce and gravy for the English from the Icelandic supermarket, they love it.
“But we don’t do it anymore and it looks like we won’t have to for a while.
“This is a massive loss for us.
“We want her back here.
“If there are so many vaccinated in the UK and there have been zero deaths recently, why can’t they come?”
Ryan Parkin, of Leeds, West Yorks, runs Portside.
He said, “It’s usually rammed all over here.
“We’re getting some Europeans, but it’s very difficult without British tourists and it looks like it will continue to do so if Spain isn’t on the green list.”