22 Oct, 2021 @ 12:59
1 min read

British tourists ‘blamed’ for high COVID-19 rate in Benidorm area of Spain’s Costa Blanca

British tourists 'blamed' for Benidorm area of Costa Blanca having a high COVID-19 infection rate
September 9, 2020, Benidorm, Spain: A 'face mask are now compulsory' sign seen at the entrance of a leisure venue in Benidorm..When Spain locked down to slow the coronavirus in March, about 25,000 British tourists were enjoying the beaches and bars of the Costa Blanca resort of Benidorm. Local officials quickly ordered hotels to shut their doors, and as the visitors packed their bags and flocked to the airport, the townâ??s tourism industryâ??its lifebloodâ??went into hibernation along with the rest of the country. (Credit Image: © Juan Zamora/SOPA Images via ZUMA Wire)

RISING British visitor numbers in the Benidorm area could be causing a big spike in local COVID-19 cases according to some Spanish media reports.

The Marina Baja health area, that includes the popular Costa Blanca resort, is now registering 215 COVID cases per 100,000 people.

That’s over five times the national average and the largest figure in the Valencian Community.

Over the last nine days it has gone up from being three times higher than the national average.

There are no statistics to show what is behind the rise.

At one stage last week, UK visitors accounted for 22.23% of hotel occupancy in Benidorm as part of an occupancy total of 73%.

It was five times higher than the next largest group of foreign arrivals from Belgium.

Spanish media is suggesting that since daily UK COVID cases are running at over 50,000 infections compared to Spain’s average of 2,500, then the Benidorm spike is down to British arrivals.

No official data has been provided to prove or disprove that theory.

Another media suggestion is because mandatory mask wearing is not imposed in the UK, then arriving Brits are lax about following Spanish rules, especially indoors.

The reports seem to ignore that mask rules are pretty much the same in Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, as in Spain.

There’s also no evidence to show that British tourists are flouting mask mandates in significant numbers, if at all, on the Costa Blanca.

Image Credit: Cordon Press

Alex Trelinski

Alex worked for 30 years for the BBC as a presenter, producer and manager. He covered a variety of areas specialising in sport, news and politics. After moving to the Costa Blanca over a decade ago, he edited a newspaper for 5 years and worked on local radio.

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