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Spain holidays: ‘Benidorm wiped dead’ – the truth behind covid’s ruinous impact on tourism

Benidorm for years has been the UK’s staple holiday destination with Britons often returning year in and year out to their favourite businesses on the famed Costa Blanca. Before the coronavirus pandemic hit, the resort town was a magical holiday destination that attracted millions of people each year. “It was getting bigger on the world stage,” says Benidorm business owner Simon Barker.

“We had to close. Everyone was told to close on March 13 by the government and then a law came in where we had to wear masks out and about to go to the supermarket, wash your hands etc.”

For Mr Barker, Spain’s restrictions have meant that there are rules on when he can open and close his bar and how many people are allowed in at one time.

The bar owner explained: “At the moment, we’re coming into out of season, most people will want to sit inside.

“We’re a terraced bar so we have seats outside – during the day it’s 18C to 20C so you can sit quite comfortably but at nighttime people want to be inside. But you’re now restricted to 30 percent of your legal limits.

“For Bar 69, our legal limit is 21 inside so we’re allowed to have seven indoors, including a member of staff so that’s six customers.

“The Spanish will sit there with half a lager for an hour – financially it just doesn’t work. People cannot afford to open.”

On October 25, the Spanish government declared a nationwide State of Emergency which includes a national obligatory overnight curfew.

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