THERE’S fury amongst bar and restaurant owners on Spain’s Costa Blanca, as they’ve been told they have to stay shut and keep their closed (cerrado) signs up.
Outside terraces have already been prepared and made ready with markings to follow social distancing rules in the Alicante, Crevillente, and Elche areas, only for the government to make a shock announcement that they will not go through to Phase 1 this Monday (May 11) of the State of Alarm relaxation process.
Other health districts in the Costa Blanca like the Marina Baixa (which includes Benidorm), Orihuela, and Torrevieja are being allowed to go ahead, as already financially-stricken hospitality business owners are being left to work out the ever-increasing cost of the lockdown rules.
In terms of the coast, travelling north on the N-332 highway, once you reach La Marina village and then Santa Pola, the Phase 1 rules do not apply, as they are part of the Elche health department area.
In the opposite direction, Phase 1 kicks in from Guardamar and San Fulgencio all the way down through the Vega Baja, the Murcia region, and into Almeria in the Andalucia region.
There’s major anger within the Valencian Government who recommended that the whole of the Costa Blanca should go forward to Phase 1, only to see their plans vetoed.
Regional Minister of Health, Ana Barceló, said they totally disagreed with the analysis of the national Ministry of Health, especially as they felt that all of the necessary requirements had been met.
Barceló demanded that the reason behind the Madrid decision should be justified in writing, especially with the potentially serious economic, social, and health costs of their decision.
“We do not understand how we can not go to Phase 1 being in much better conditions than other autonomous communities,” Barcelo fumed.
The decision though could not have come as a complete surprise, as in the Friday morning Valencian Health Ministry briefing, Barcelo hinted strongly that some parts of the Costa Blanca would not be allowed to relax the lockdown from this Monday (May 11).