THE Costa Blanca is expected to go into lockdown as of midnight tonight (Friday, March 13).
The Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez’s announcement that Spain is in a state of emergency has been followed by a statement from the Valencian government, ordering the closure of all bars, restaurants, nightclubs, casinos, theatres, museums, libraries and cinemas close their doors to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.
This includes businesses in the Alicante province, and also affects local authority sports facilities and schools.
Regional President Ximo Puig said the ‘necessary’ measures will be in place for at least 15 days.
President of Benidorm’s British Business Association, Karen Cowles, told Euro Weekly News: “This is very surreal, but now is the time to put our health before profits. It is a very difficult time for the community and I feel for the people living here day to day, and the elderly who will understandably be frightened.
“All I can say is that we are a strong community and we will pull through this together. We must listen strictly to the advice and recommendations from the official authorities.
“Today is a day we will never forget.”
Christine Climent of Benidorm Palace, the biggest venue in Benidorm, said tonight’s show will the last until further notice. Last night, hundreds of guests to the Palace were tested for signs of the virus, using special thermometers, before being allowed entry.
“Following the Prime Minister’s announcement, we are cancelling all shows after tonight until further notice. All gala shows will be postponed to a later date and tickets honoured.
“As soon as that can be done, we will notify the public. We apologise to everybody for any inconvenience caused.”
Meanwhile, hundreds of shoppers have taken to social media to share photographs of empty supermarket shelves across the Costa Blanca.
This is despite reassurances from Supermarket chains that such incidents are ‘in specific areas with specific supply issues’.