BOOZY Brits have ignored Spain’s quarantine woes to hit Benidorm’s packed bars and beaches.
Sun-seekers and party-goers seemed undeterred by the last-minute withdrawal of “air bridges” as thousands will need to quarantine upon their return to the UK.
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It’s only been a matter of weeks since the UK announced an “air bridge” with Spain – meaning travellers were told they did not have to quarantine on arrival in either country.
The news meant thousands of holidaymakers wasted no time in flocking back to Benidorm’s popular holiday hotspot.
Holiday-goers were seen pitching their spot in the sand under new designated beach sections and Covid-19 two metre distancing plots with designated entrance and exit routes.
Benidorm has carved up Poniente and Levante beaches into 5,000 13ft x 13ft taped off plots — with a maximum of four people allowed in each square.
But it didn’t stop Brits from hitting the beach as hundreds were seen carrying pool floats and relaxing under umbrellas.
In fact, beaches across Spain have been forced to close due to the mass influx of crowds and the difficultly in enforcing coronavirus safety measures.
Hundreds of thousands of tourists faced beach queues of hour-long waits.
Local authorities are struggling to cope and have had to call in the police and extra stewards to seal off entrances.
Spanish officials have carved up Poniente and Levante beaches into 5,000 13x13ft sunbathing squares – with a maximum of four people per space due to the coronavirus outbreak.
According to local media, 1,487 slots were reserved online last weekend – leaving just 70 spaces available for people wanting to book in person.
Popular clubbing spots also attracted Brits from all walks of life as singletons and families packed in to the once-thriving party hot spots.
Bar hoppers were seen relaxing with tables full of drinks as most did away with masks after a few pints.
But when the holiday is all over, many have now found themselves facing orders to self-isolate for 14 days on their return or cop a £1,000 fine after Spain was removed from a quarantine ‘safe’ list.
Toni Mayor, president of the Benidorm and Costa Blanca hotel association Hosbec, described the shock UK move as a “hammer blow.”
“This announcement is going to bring everything crashing down,” he explained.
“The British tourists who are already here have got no other option but to stay and self-isolate when they return.
“But I fear a lot of those who were going to come are now going to cancel.”
Spain is the top destination for British tourists, with around 18 million people from the UK visiting the country normally every year.
Benidorm – made even more famous by the hit ITV comedy series of the same name – even boasts an area known as Little England.
In an attempt to salvage some of the summer tourist season, the Spanish government is in talks with the British government about the possibility of creating air corridors for the Balearic Islands and the Canaries.
Officials in the Costa Blanca and Costa del Sol are also pushing to be allowed into a ‘safe’ air corridor scheme.
It would mean British tourists would be able to continue enjoying holidays there without having to self-isolate on their return home.
Meanwhile, Spain’s COVID-19 death toll could be 60 per cent higher than the official count, an investigation reveals.
The nation’s official figure of 28,432 has been called into question after it was found to account for only those formally diagnosed and not suspected cases who were never tested.
Spain recorded its highest infection figure since May 11 with 2,615 new cases on Thursday, followed by 2,255 on Friday.
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