It’s been a while but there’s finally a party atmosphere in Benidorm again.
After 20 long months away, British tourists are flooding back to Benidorm and business owners there could not be happier.
The Spanish resort was nearly brought to its knees during the pandemic as Covid prevented travellers from heading to the Costa Blanca and restrictions forced businesses to close.
But now testing rules for fully vaccinated travellers have eased and clubs are permitted to stay open until 7am, the party hotspot is making up for lost time.
Scott O’Brien, 55, who owns The Bulldog Pub told The Mirror: ‘At last, the Brits are back. Benidorm is alive again.
‘You can feel the relief and the joy.
‘The atmosphere is amazing. It’s freedom for these people. Everyone’s much happier and calmer than I can remember them being in previous years.’
Rules for UK tourists who are double jabbed changed last month meaning they only need a lateral flow test on their return home rather than PCR test – making travel a lot more affordable.
The change has encouraged people to return to Benidorm to party and soak up the sun.
Among them is Angie Barker, a teaching assistant from Hull, who was in the resort to celebrate her 50th birthday.
Angie, who was joined by her mum Janet Tomlinson, 75, and 12 others, said: ‘We booked it back in February and just hoped for the best.
‘I’ve honestly had such a brilliant time.’
Bride-to-be Jade Fieldhouse, from Warrington, is not double vaccinated and will have to pay for a PCR test upon her return home but said she was happy to be in Benidorm nonetheless.
The 27-year-old who was partying with 16 friends said: ‘It’s costing me a lot more than the others but it is 100% worth it.
‘Forget the money. I’ve not been away during Covid and I’m getting married in February, it’s time to let my hair down.’
Debra Powell, 55 and husband David, 56, from Huddersfield were also enjoying their first break since before the pandemic.
David said: ‘It’s so much easier now to get away and we couldn’t be happier.’
Up to 60,000 British holidaymakers are expected to head to Benidorm later this month for the town’s first big festival since before the pandemic.
But there are concerns the influx of tourists could cause a spike in infections.
Local health minister Ana Barcelo said cases started rising when UK tourists began arriving.
However Toni Perez, mayor of Benidorm remained confident, the told The Mirror: ‘There are no incidents I’ve heard of concerning tourist infections at hotels and apartments.’
According to Reuters coronavirus rates in Spain are rising, with 1,916 new infections reported on average each day as of November 1.
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