Holidaymakers missing their annual binge of sun and sangria in Spain’s holiday hotspots could be waiting some time before they can return to their favourite resort.
The number of sunseekers heading to Spain this summer has plummeted because of a combination of UK government quarantine restrictions, resort lockdowns and airlines axing flights.
Now cases in Spain are surging again with threats of ever-toughening restrictions for locals and visitors.
Some UK carriers, like Ryanair and easyJet, have continued to operate flights to Spain despite UK government advice against all-but-essential travel. However, many seats have been left unsold and airlines have been forced to massively cut flight programmes from airports such as Birmingham, East Midlands and Manchester.
Tourism bosses in the Spanish resorts are still valiantly trying to convince the UK government it is safe to remove the quarantine restrictions – but time is running out with just days left of the lucrative summer season.
Government officials in Majorca said they wanted to “reactivate tourism” as soon as possible, but those in the Costa Blanca – the region containing Benidorm – have already called it a day for 2020.
Spanish politicians agreed there were many obstacles before the travel corridors with the UK could be reinstated, but stressed the desire to lift restrictions.
However, Spain is now averaging 105 Covid-linked deaths a day with 319.7 infections per 100,000 population across the past 14 days. A partial lockdown has already been reimposed in the capital city of Madrid.
There are also fears that a new national Spanish lockdown could be declared as cases in some areas surge ahead.
The country was one of the hardest-hit when coronavirus first surfaced and the government imposed a three-month shutdown allowing citizens only to leave their homes to shop for essential supplies or walk dogs.
Spain is unlikely to be added to the UK quarantine exempt list for some time.
Businesses in Magaluf, the Majorca party resort, called this summer ‘disastrous’ but pledged to fight back. But it could be months before they are allowed to respond to post-coronavirus challenges.