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Benidorm COVID-19 infection rate is three times higher than Spain’s national average

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BENIDORM’S coronavirus infection rate is three times higher than national average.

The figures come as the popular Costa Blanca resort is welcoming an autumn influx of British and international tourists.

UK arrivals have substantially risen as nearly all COVID testing requirements have been removed for people returning home.

There is no documented proof that foreign arrivals are boosting Benidorm’s virus infection rates but some experts are speculating that is the likely cause of the resort’s higher figures.

Official health ministry statistics show that Benidorm has had 156 coronavirus cases per 100,000 people over the last 14 days.

That compares to Spain’s overall figure of 46 cases.

Regionally, the city of Elche, with a population that’s three times larger than Benidorm, is reporting 67 cases.

The Valencian Community average is 34.78 cases per 100,000 with most COVID restrictions scrapped last weekend.

Regional hotel association Hosbec confirmed that foreign bookings are rising across the whole of the region and have been noticeable over the extended bank holiday weekend, which culminated in Tuesday’s National Day.

In a statement, Hosbec said:- “International tourists have been noticeable with 35% of bookings on the Costa Blanca coming from outside Spain; 30% in Benidorm; and 40% in Valencia.”

READ MORE:- WHY BENIDORM AND COSTA BLANCA HOTELS DON’T WANT TO BE SO RELIANT ON BRITISH TOURISTS

MUST READ:- THE NEW COVID-19 RULES FOR THE ‘NEW NORMAL’ ON THE COSTA BLANCA

Benidorm

Costa Blanca marijuana gang packed drugs into sealed tin cans and took them by road from Spain to the UK

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POLICE have smashed a Costa Blanca drugs gang that exported marijuana in tin cans onboard vans and lorries to the United Kingdom.

The Guardia Civil described the gang as one of Spain’s ‘leading’ criminal producers of marijuana.

Specialist equipment was used to process the drug which was then put into sealed tin cans ahead of their UK journey.

The Guardia operation was carried out with help from police forces across Europe and the UK’s National Crime Agency.

€74,000 in cash was seized in house raids along with marijuana plants and associated drug materials.

May be an image of money and indoor

The probe produced 16 arrests in Benidorm, Gandia, San Juan de Alicante and Torrevieja.

Three of the detainees were jailed after a court appearance.

Operation ‘Derlius’ was launched in December 2020.

The Guardia got suspicious about several Lithuanians living in San Juan who appeared to be well-off, yet did not appear to work.

Some of them had a criminal record.

Last March, some of the group were arrested on the Spanish-French border in a van containing 277 kilos of hashish and 10 kilos of cocaine.

No photo description available.

The gang leaders were a married couple who have lived in Torrevieja since 2018.

They organised a network of ‘safe houses’ used as marijuana farms and packaging points.

The farms in San Juan were ‘managed’ by two associates of the couple.

Besides exporting to the UK, the gang sold the marijuana to local cannabis clubs.

Image Credit: Guardia Civil

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Benidorm

British tourists ‘blamed’ for high COVID-19 rate in Benidorm area of Spain’s Costa Blanca

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RISING British visitor numbers in the Benidorm area could be causing a big spike in local COVID-19 cases according to some Spanish media reports.

The Marina Baja health area, that includes the popular Costa Blanca resort, is now registering 215 COVID cases per 100,000 people.

That’s over five times the national average and the largest figure in the Valencian Community.

Over the last nine days it has gone up from being three times higher than the national average.

There are no statistics to show what is behind the rise.

At one stage last week, UK visitors accounted for 22.23% of hotel occupancy in Benidorm as part of an occupancy total of 73%.

It was five times higher than the next largest group of foreign arrivals from Belgium.

Spanish media is suggesting that since daily UK COVID cases are running at over 50,000 infections compared to Spain’s average of 2,500, then the Benidorm spike is down to British arrivals.

No official data has been provided to prove or disprove that theory.

Another media suggestion is because mandatory mask wearing is not imposed in the UK, then arriving Brits are lax about following Spanish rules, especially indoors.

The reports seem to ignore that mask rules are pretty much the same in Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, as in Spain.

There’s also no evidence to show that British tourists are flouting mask mandates in significant numbers, if at all, on the Costa Blanca.

Image Credit: Cordon Press

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Benidorm

Benidorm rising incidence rate coincides with return of Brit holidaymakers

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Benidorm’s rising incidence rate coincides with the return of British holidaymakers.

Benidorm has currently an incidence rate of 215 per 100,000 inhabitants. This multipies the national rate by five, making it the health department with the most positives in the Valencian Community. A coincidental determining factor points to the return of British tourism as it accounts for 22% of the market.

Benidorm began the path of economic recovery recently with the reactivation of international tourism, especially from the British market, however, the incidence rate of Covid has also since skyrocketed.

The city now registers 215 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, a figure five times the national average and places the Marina Baja health department as the one that accumulates the most positives in the last 14 days with a total of 209, as shown in the Data portal of the Ministry of Health web site.

This rebound in rates coincided with the recent increase in British visitors, which grew last week to become 22.23% of all tourists who arrived in the capital of Costa Blanca last week, helping the hotel sector to reach a much-welcomed occupancy rate of 73%.

According to WHO data, Covid cases have grown by 15% in the United Kingdom and are fast approaching a figure of 50,000 per day.
Along with Russia and Turkey, it is another European country where the virus is continuing to grow. There is no obligation to wear a mask in the UK, which complicates the fact that tourists must comply with the restrictions established when in Spain and the Valencian Community, where masks are still mandatory indoors and outdoors and where social distances cannot be kept.

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