BENIDORM is working to establish a safe air corridor with the UK following claims that the Spanish government is favouring its holiday islands.
The Balearics, including Majorca and Ibiza, together with the Canary Islands, led by Tenerife and Lanzarote, are widely tipped to be the first place where the British government might lift its 14-day quarantine rule for returning Brits.
Spain was added to the UK’s quarantine list on July 26, with the islands following suit, after a spike in cases.
The country’s soaring coronavirus infection rates have seen it exceed 540,000 overall cases – yesterday Spain saw 8,866 new daily cases.
However, the UK is now using targeted data to allow regional air bridges, seen with the restrictions enforced on Greek islands, but not mainland Greece.
Benidorm’s mayor, Toni Perez says they have been talking with the British government since Monday and want to establish a link with Alicante-Elche airport.
The resort is currently targeting the Russian market with special campaigns but Mr. Perez said the Brits were still hugely important for destinations on the Spanish mainland and “especially Benidorm”.
“Through Visit Benidorm, the steps are being taken to get, together with the private initiative and a tour operator, the green light from the Spanish and British governments,” he said.
“Benidorm has proven to be a safe destination and both the city council and the sector have implemented effective measures to minimise the impact and risks of Covid.”
Mr. Perez said Benidorm was very disappointed that the Spanish government seemed to be putting all of its efforts into regenerating the holiday islands “to the detriment of destinations on the mainland.”
“This practice began in July and we have already transferred our most absolute disagreement,” the mayor stressed.
He said the coronavirus safety regulations implemented in Benidorm had become a “reference” and “not a single case has been registered among international tourists.”
The resort wants to see tests prior to the departure and return of British tourists and this, said the mayor, together with all the protocols developed in the city such as monitoring and the provision of safe houses would ensure that Benidorm was a safe destination to come to.
He also stressed the importance of the beach safety plan which had “enabled more than two million users to enjoy safe, free beaches every day.”
Parcelling off sections of the beach might become the norm even after the end of the coronavirus pandemic, says the council.
“This summer we have worked with successful formulas that have demonstrated the minimisation of the risk and impact of coronavirus, as well as the work capacity and professionalism with which the situation has been managed,” said Mr. Perez.
Brits face Covid BAN from EU countries like Spain & Portugal from Jan 1
Benidorm tourism chiefs say less than 15 hotels could remain open in the famous Costa Blanca resort by the end of the month.
Regional hotel association Hosbec has revealed half its hotels – 65 per cent of the total that normally operate – will shut by the end of September.
Hosbec president Toni Mayor said today he predicted just 10 to 15 of Benidorm’s 140 hotels would stay open after that.