Hotels offered to health service and new message to Brits
Hotels in numerous locations across Spain, told to close their doors by March 26th, are being cleaned and disinfected so they can be used as make-shift hospitals or emergency accommodation for health staff.
The hotels are also giving away food to charities and any equipment, including thousands of pairs of rubber gloves, to their local health service.
Benidorm, the Costa Blanca and Valencia started to close their hotels before Friday’s official order imposed by the Spanish Government. Hotels and tourist accommodation have to close by next Thursday.
Hoteliers in the Canary Islands, who have also been organising food donations to charities, have also pledged to help find hotels which could be used by the health service. The Perla hotel in Puerto de la Cruz has already been offered as an overflow facility.
This morning, British Ambassador for Spain Hugh Elliott said: “As part of the effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the Spanish Government has ordered the closure of all short-stay accommodation by Thursday, March 26th. I want to reassure you that the Spanish authorities have told us very clearly that no one will be left without accommodation, however, it does make it even more important that you arrange your return journey as soon as possible. Flights are still operating from Spain to the UK and tens of thousands of British citizens have successfully returned to the UK in the past few days. Do consult your airline’s website for the latest information and if you need to book a new flight you can also try comparison websites. I know that in some places this is proving difficult. We are continuing to liaise with the airlines and Spanish authorities as the situation evolves. We will update our advice regularly. Thank you for your continued patience and understanding.”
The hotel closure instructions do not apply to long-stay accommodation where people can cater for themselves.
Regarding travel back through France, Spain is not restricting land border crossings from Spain to France. To drive back through France, the French authorities require that you fill in a declaration to explain your reason for travel, you should also have evidence of your onward travel plan (ie ferry/rail ticket). Please check our travel advice page for France for the latest information. If you do not have access to the printer, you can write the declaration by hand. https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/france