COSTA BLANCA hoteliers and holiday accommodation owners say that a new rule for most international travellers arriving at airports and ports to show a recent negative COVID-19 test is ‘not good for tourism’.

The regulation applies to people entering Spain from ‘at risk’ countries which takes in most of Europe including the United Kingdom.

Groups have voiced their concern about the high cost of the required PCR tests and the fact that the Madrid government has acted unilaterally, as opposed to the European Union introducing uniform requirements.

The Benidorm-based hotel association, Hosbec, said: “The need for PCR tests is not a measure that will contribute positively to tourism, especially on the Costa Blanca.”

Hosbec said in a statement that nothing will change at the moment as restrictions mean that international travel is minimal.

They commented that the move should have been ‘coordinated with the European Union and in getting bilateral travel corridors with countries like the United Kingdom’.

“It’s useless to impose rules over PCR tests if travel quarantines are not scrapped. We ought to be working on developing safe travel corridors but something like this is preventing their creation,” Hosbec added.

Hosbec and other associations like the apartment letting group, Aptur, say that the cost of a PCR test of up to €120 per person will put off many travellers.

An example was quoted of a UK family of four looking to travel to a Benidorm hotel over Christmas who would have to find an extra €480 for PCR tests and then return back to Britain to face a two-week quarantine.

“This combination means that there is absolutely no scenario where tourism can be reactivated,” Hosbec continued.

Aptur president, Miguel Angel Sotillos, said: “Tests should be free of charge for anybody who stays in regulated tourist accommodation. This would be paid for by the government who should see this as an investment as it would save money on furlough and unemployment payments.”

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