As holidaymakers slowly start to return to Benidorm, with International flights gradually restarting, there is an audible sigh of relief from local businesses who only last month feared that they would be forced to remain shut and write off the rest of the season.
But from arrival at Alicante airport, be prepared for changes. Everyone will have their temperatures checked with infrared cameras, hand in a locator card and if taking either a taxi or bus to the resort, you will be required to wear a mask, so do not bin the one you wore of the flight over!
The resort is reliant on tourism to survive and many are geared up for the British, who last year made up 41.3% of the market which equated to 4.8million people – only just beaten by the domestic Spanish market at 45%. However, it is the spending power of the British that sustains virtually all of the bars and clubs in the Rincon de Loix area.
Although currently only a fraction of them are open, more are likely to follow now that the UK government has unveiled that the 14 day quarantine is scrapped on their return to the UK. But visitors must adhere to the new protocol here – which is very different from what they are probably use to.
Masks… these must be worn when going into shops, restaurants, bars – obviously removed when drinking or eating or walking in the street if you cannot guarantee keeping the required distance from others. In the main, everyone here wears one when going out. If going to the beach you will be required to wear a mask to walk from the promenade onto your plot but can then remove it.
At the moment you do not need to pre-book a space as there are plenty available, but if and when it gets busier you will need to, either via the app or in person at one of the info points along the promenade. The app can be found at www.benidormbeachsafety.es - although not yet operational.
Hand sanitizing is another new ritual which you will quickly get the hang of too, at the entrance to every establishment including bars and restaurants. Some shops, such as Mercadona and Lidl still also make you put on disposable gloves – which they provide.
One popular beachfront bar that you all love is taking the health situation very seriously.
They take your temperature before being allowed in – one person was actually refused entry yesterday as they were over 37 degrees.
Next, the soles of shoes are sprayed then you are also asked to gel your hands. Upon leaving the table and chairs are all sprayed and wiped down. For us here in Spain, this is our new norm… follow the rules and you will be fine and have a great time. If not, then risk a fine of up to €700.