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Travel

Benidorm launches cheap seven-night package holiday scheme including food and drink for just £180

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You can stay for a week in Benidorm with food included for just £180 in the new scheme. 

The ban on travel throughout the lockdown has caused the popular holiday destination to suffer, enhanced by the 14-day quarantine after travelling. 

The new scheme in the resorts, starting on October 14th, gives tourists a choice of where to stay and where to eat in the seven-night deal.

The only thing you’ll have to arrange on your own is your flights out to Benidorm, but deals start at £200 a return ticket. 

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The scheme has been launched by two trade associations, Abreca and Cobreca representing bars and restaurants plus Rosemberg Real Estate Agency and the Nicaragua Apartments.

They said in a statement: “This project is the result of the essential synergy between all the business sectors of the city and it will be a pioneer in Europe offering visitors to enjoy all the gastronomic offer of our city.

“The tourist will have a complete experience of Benidorm, being able to stay in apartments of Real Estate Rosemberg or Apartments Nicaragua and have breakfast, lunch and dinner in any bar, restaurant and cafeteria member of Abreca and Cobreca and adhered to this project.

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Benidorm could also be launching the new ‘Benidorm Island’ scheme which hopes to create an effective ‘island’ on mainland Spain.

It will encourage Brits to the resort, offering testing and new safety features like a ‘safe’ coach that transfers holidaymakers directly to their holiday accommodation from the airport. 

In the day a ‘Hospitality Team’ would monitor the tourist’s health.

Currently Brits must self-isolate for two weeks after returning from Spain plus other countries on the list.

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Stephen Barclay confirmed the new measures that will include swabbing at the airport.

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Mr Barclay explained: ““I am expecting Grant Shapps and Matt Hancock to say more about this in the coming days.

“If we look, for example, at some of the German states, which are using testing to then release earlier from some of the restrictions.”

The current two-week quarantine period could be reduced to four days with two mandatory tests. 

This week, a duo from Ashton-under-Lyne returned from Spain and refused to isolate and were both lumped with £1,000 fines

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Travel

‘Far too early’ for Britons to be thinking about booking summer holidays, vaccines minister says

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Nadhim Zahawi said that British travellers should not book summer 2021 holidays yet.

Those looking forward to jetting off this summer are warned that it is still ‘far too early’ to be thinking about going away given the rate of the virus in the UK. 

When asked if it was too soon for the public to book holidays, vaccine minister Nadhim Zahawi said:

“Absolutely. I think it’s far too early.

“There’s still 37,000 people in hospital with Covid at the moment. It’s far too early for us to even speculate about the summer.”

He later spoke to Times Radio where he said it was still ‘too early’ to know if summer holidays will go ahead. 

There will be a meeting with senior ministers held today to consider further travel restrictions including the possibility of requiring travellers to quarantine at a designated hotel.

It is not clear the exact details of such a measure including how long this would be in place for. 

“There will be an announcement on this issue later on today,” Mr Zahawi said.

BBCBreakfast / Twitter

The BBC reports that ministers are expected to approve the plan to require UK citizens to quarantine in a hotel if they arrive in the country from a high-risk country.

Speaking to Sky News, Mr Zahawi said: “We review our border policy like any other responsible country would – Germany and Canada did a similar thing in January.

“We’ve done that with the pre-departure testing that is now required to enter the UK and of course with passenger locator forms.

“There will be an announcement on this issue later on today, so I can only say to you that it is the right thing to do, because I am the vaccines minister, that as we vaccinate more of the adult population, if there are new variants like the South African or the Brazilian variants, we need to be very careful.

“We acted on those very quickly and of course dealt with travel from those countries, and from Portugal and elsewhere, rapidly so it is important we continue to review our border policy and an announcement will be made when a decision has been taken.

“And of course the industry itself will be engaged with heavily, including (Health Secretary) Matt Hancock engaging with the industry to explain the decision making at health, as well as of course the business department with the Business Secretary.”

Chief executive of Best Western hotel groups told the BBC that the hotel industry was ready to assist the government if they did opt for such a policy. He said the sector was ‘familiar and accustomed to managing Covid-positive customers in our hotels’. 

Mr Paterson added: “From the hotels’ perspective, we would have to treat each of these customers as Covid-positive, so we would have to have strong infection control and protocols around security in the hotel to ensure we can deliver safely.”

An announcement on this from the government is expected to be made on Wednesday. 

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Travellers arriving in UK without negative Covid test fined £500 then let in anyway

Anyone arriving in the UK must now show a negative Covid test

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The new rules for travellers came into effect at the start of the week, with people entering the UK now required to show proof of a negative Covid test.

But according to reports, some passengers have been turning up without a valid negative coronavirus test, and are being fined £500 each and allowed to enter the country by Border Force.

Speaking to the Mail Online, the Home Office confirmed that anyone who arrives without the necessary proof will be fined but still let into the country – although they are required to quarantine for ten days.

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People have been facing two hour queues as they arrived into the country due to the new checks, although some passengers claimed there was a complete lack of social distancing.

Gabrielle Rivers, a research fellow at Oxford University, told The Times after arriving from Washington: “I don’t know how they would expect old people to cope. They are crowding people together in tight spaces. If we didn’t have Covid then, we will now. It was very rammed.”

Journalist Graeme Culliford, arriving from Dubai, added: “It took a while because of the queues at customs. I suspected they would not check for negative Covid tests but they did. They were very thorough in the end.

“There were a few altercations between passengers and border officials and at one point I heard one official say he’d fined three people £500 already for not having proof of a test.”

Manchester Airport

Following the government’s suspension of travel corridors, anyone arriving in the UK – including British citizens – must now have a negative test and quarantine on arrival.

These measures were brought in to stop the spread of new coronavirus variants, including the ones that have originated in South African and Brazil. 

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Spain’s new tourism plan will let Brits holiday without restrictions in a matter of months

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Spain has revealed when it will be reopening to British holidaymakers with restriction-free travel. 

In a bid to boost tourism and welcome tourists back to Spain the country has launched a campaign that should reassure travellers it’s safe to visit. 

Currently, Spain remains off the UK travel corridor list meaning arrivals from the country will have to self-isolate on entry to Britain (excluding the Canary Islands).

Visitors must present a negative Covid-19 test no more than 72 hours on arrival to enter the country.

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The latest €2 million campaign hopes to welcome visitors without restrictions by the end of March, reports the MEN.

There will be a daily updated ‘Travel Safe’ section on the spain.info website which will have measures in individual regions including, for example, restaurant capacities. 

The Turespaña strategy will continue while coronavirus restrictions remain, already welcome in popular destinations including Menorca and Ibiza. 

The Balearic Islands are expected to be the first to welcome restriction-free travel. The Balearic tourism minister, Iago Negueruela, told local media: “First of all, however, there is the task of positioning, selling and explaining to the world that the islands are a safe destination.”

See the Covid-19 measures in Spain here.  

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