Spanish health officials have raised concerns about the impact of British tourists on the soaring COVID-19 infections rates being recorded in the popular resort town of Benidorm.
The resort town that is one of the most popular destinations for Brits heading abroad has a 14-day contagion rate of 215 cases per 100,000, which is five times higher than the Spanish average national rate of 43.
Spanish TV Telecinco reported that the local government is concerned that the spike in cases in the United Kingdom is now spreading into Benidorm, potentially threatening Spain’s fight to control the virus.
COVID-19 infection rates in the UK have been on the rise compared to many other European countries.
Telecinco reports that since the UK eased travel restrictions to Spain on 4th October beaches in Benidorm have frequently been completely full with Brits lounging in the Mediterranean sun.
Benidorm attracts Brits with its sandy beaches, vibrant nightlife and affordable accommodation which have turned the resort town into a hotspot for both tourists and ex-pats.
Toni Mayor, president of Hosbec, a business organisation representing hoteliers in the Valencia region, told inews: “We are worried because the number of COVID-19 cases in Benidorm have risen to above the national level.
“It is still under control but we need tourists to observe health restrictions to reduce the number of cases.”
He added: “So far, British tourists in Benidorm have generally respected our rules and wear masks inside bars and restaurants. Our hotels have not seen any Covid outbreaks. But we are still in the middle of a pandemic and it is not over yet. So people must wear masks.”
Benidorm’s city council has not clarified whether it plans to impose restrictions in the resort town as a result of the spike in cases.