EMPTY tourist accommodation in Benidorm is being offered again to health staff working long hours at the Marina Baixa regional hospital and local health centres.

The move has come from Benidorm council and the hoteliers association, Hosbec, as hospitalisation rates have reached or are close to surpassing numbers last seen in March and April.

The first wave of the coronavirus pandemic last year saw 34 health workers, mainly from the hospital in Villajoyosa, being given free access to apartments for 45 days.

Nearly half of those were nurses or nursing assistants who would have had to return home to family situations with elderly or vulnerable people that they might have exposed to the risk of getting COVID-19.

Benidorm council will run the scheme again and health professionals can book a room via an online application form.

There is plenty of accommodation to choose from as the resort is almost devoid of visitors due to the pandemic and associated travel restrictions.

Benidorm mayor, Toni Perez, said: “We are resuming this service due to the increase of COVID-19 cases in the Valencian Community with the aim of offering a safe, comfortable and risk-free accommodation alternative for health staff.”

Perez added that his city would provide all the necessary facilities needed to make sure that the vaccination programme goes as smoothly as possible locally.

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