Tourism chief calls for “tranquility and caution” in the face of rise in infections in Benidorm

He launches a message of support for Benidorm “for its excellent ability to do things well and for having assured visitor safety better than anyone else”

Wednesday 27th October 2021 – PRESS RELEASE with Mike Smith

The regional tourism secretary, Francesc Colomer, has called for “tranquility and caution” in the face of the news about the increase in positive cases of COVID-19 in Benidorm and has launched a message of support to the municipality “for its excellent capacity for doing things well and for having executed visitor safety better than anyone else”.

He added that, in his opinion, “Benidorm is a destination that, in the concept of hospitality, in its version most adapted to the COVID world, has been exemplary, especially due to the actions of its entrepreneurs.”

On Monday, it was reported by the regional health authorities that the 14-day IA rate in Benidorm had risen to 286 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, well above the figure for the Comunidad Valenciana as whole (49) and the national average of 46 per 100,000. (Xàbia’s rate currently stands at 39.26 positive cases per 100,000 inhabitants.)

The Spanish Health Ministry confirmed that 53% of latest positive cases were among the foreign population and, according to municipal sources, British visitors currently make up 24% of all foreign visitors to Benidorm at the moment. And that figure has been growing steadily since September. Latest available figures report that the 14-day IA rate in the UK was as high as 928.22 cases per 100,000 inhabitants last Sunday whilst those living in England have no obligation to wear masks in any situation, whereas in the Comunidad Valenciana, they are recommended in outdoor spaces and mandatory inside bars, restaurants, shops and other interior spaces. Both these facts may have played a factor in the rise in infections in this popular tourist destination.

However, the HOSBEC hotel association and Benidorm Council have both explained that a discrepancy in the official population figure for the resort should be taken into account. The National Statistics Institute (INE) records the population as 70,450 whilst it is estimated that the actual number of people who live in Benidorm is more likely to be around 180,000. They argue that the COVID-19 figures would be far lower if they were applied to the real population level of the town.

In addition, the relatively high incidence rate in Benidorm has not led to a rise in hospitalizations for COVID-19, not yet at least. According to the latest official data, 11 people had been admitted to the Marina Baixa hospital, compared to 12 the previous week.

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