Benidorm customers ‘lost their temper’ over Costa Blanca’s tough new rules – ‘coercion’

Covid: Travellers recall ‘stressful’ process of pre-travel tests

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Tourists and residents in Benidorm must now show a Covid passport to enter bars and restaurants that cater for more than 50 people. According to the association, customers are furious about the new measures.

COBRECA president, Pablo Gonzalez, told the ABC newspaper that the group views the passport as “coercion”.

He said: “Regular customers have lost their temper and said they will not return.

“We are and continue to be the sector most mistreated by political decisions during the pandemic.

“Hospitality is a sector of happiness where we don’t ask about people’s political beliefs, whether they are single or not; or whether they are ill.

“We feel coerced as we either apply the passport or face more restrictions.”

Under the new laws, venue owners who fail to put up posters warning of the new laws could be fined up to €600 (£511).

Tourists who break the passport law will be fined over £500 in Benidorm as the regional Government cracks down on Covid.

To qualify for a Covid passport, residents and tourists need to be fully vaccinated, have taken a test in the last 72 hours or have recently recovered from Covid.

Gonzalez said that Benidorm’s hospitality industry had been negatively affected by the strict new measures.

He said: “Group reservations have led to walkouts as one guest does not have a passport and they go elsewhere with a capacity of less than 50.”

He told ABC that time is wasted by staff having to ask people for their certificate and identification.

Gonzalez said this then led to slower service and venues receiving complaints from customers.

The hospitality rep said his industry was being “manipulated and mistreated as a profession by imposing police-style activity with customers.”

Benidorm has seen a rise in Covid cases recently which some local officials have blamed on British tourists.

Vaccination centres have been set up to jab tourists in the resort in an attempt to control rising rates.

In November, around 20,000 Britons descended on Benidorm for the resort’s annual Fancy Dress Party.

The event had been cancelled but many Britons still took to the streets to drink and celebrate.

On December 1, unvaccinated Britons were banned from entering Spain after cases of Omicron were discovered in the UK.

British tourists are advised to check the UK Government website before travelling to Spain as restrictions can change rapidly.

Britons will need to take a pre-departure test before arriving in the UK and will need to take a PCR test on or before two after arrival.

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