Brits back with a bang in Benidorm as tourists pack out resort’s famous bars after Covid travel rules eased
BRITISH sunseekers have been flocking back to Benidorm today following the easing of UK travel restrictions.
The Costa Blanca town’s famous Little England area is buzzing again after months of misery caused by the curbs on travel linked to the coronavirus pandemic.
Holidaying abroad became a lot easier this week, thanks to big changes in the UK's Covid travel rules.
The traffic light system for travel was scrapped and replaced with just two categories — countries on the red list and everywhere else.
Double-jabbed returning holidaymakers coming from countries not on the red list can enter the UK without a pre-departure test.
They do not have to take a PCR test eight days after their arrival or isolate themselves at home.
Just a single test is needed on the second day after arrival in the UK.
This has boosted travel to Benidorm with some hotels catering for British tourists reopening for the first time in more than a year.
And bars and nightspots in places like Mallorca Street in the heart of Little England are back in business and calling in staff furloughed at the height of the health crisis.
Alex Fratini, a member of Benidorm bar and restaurant association Abreca said: "Many businesses have reopened after many months closed because the Brits have started to return.
"Bars are hiring staff and that’s a good sign."
Association president Javier del Castillo told local paper Diario Informacion: "Businesses are reopening and opening for longer.
"We hope this continues and more Brits come."
Many businesses have reopened after many months closed because the Brits have started to return.
Meanwhile, the mobility scooters made famous by the ITV series Benidorm are becoming a familiar sight again.
Package tour holiday coaches packed with new Brit arrivals were busy ferrying them from Alicante Airport to their Benidorm hotels.
The increase in the number of Brits holidaying in the resort began to be felt at the start of last month when visitors from the UK recovered their traditional number one spot by doubling their presence in the Costa Blanca sunshine destination.
Figures released by local hotel association Hosbec at the start of September showed the percentage of British holidaymakers staying in town had jumped to just over 11 per cent of the total from around just five per cent earlier in the summer.
They ended up accounting for 16 per cent of the total in September, down on the normal figure of 40 per cent of the tourists in town at this time of the year, but the highest percentage since March last year.
Hosbec president Toni Mayor said: "The situation has improved dramatically.
"There’s a British atmosphere in Benidorm which reminds me of the atmosphere of old before the pandemic struck.
"Around 20 per cent of the holidaymakers in town at the moment are now British and with the other 20 per cent who’ll hopefully return now the restrictions have been eased, we’ll be back to the way things were three years ago."
The overhaul of the UK traffic light system and scrapping of fit-to-fly and day eight tests for double-jabbed tourists is expected to lead to a surge in the number of Brits jetting to Benidorm for some autumn sunshine.
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