SPAIN’S Benidorm is to reopen its bars, as anger rages in neighbouring Costa Blanca towns that cannot ease their tough lockdown rules.
It’s all go for Benidorm tomorrow (May 11) as it is allowed to join in Phase 1 of the country’s easing out of the State of Alarm, but that’s not the case for centres like Alicante, Elche, and Crevillente.
Mayors are angry that their towns and cities cannot go forward as they widely expected.
That’s because two health departments, Alicante and Elche, have been stopped by the Health Ministry in Madrid from entering Phase 1, whilst the remaining health areas in Alicante Province have been given permission to go forward.
The Marina Baixa health department has been given the all clear by Madrid, and that means Benidorm residents can enjoy a greater freedom of movement as well as the reopening of bar and restaurant terraces.
Crevillente is in the Elche health area, and mayor, José Manuel Penalva, wants answers from the Valencian regional government why his municipality has not be allowed to relax the lockdown.
He’s joined his Elche counterpart, Carlos González, in demanding an explanation.
Crevillente has spent the last week getting ready for life under Phase 1, with extra terrace spaces allocated to bars.
That’s in addition to business owners cleaning up their premises ahead of a likely reopening.
Manuel Penalva said: “According to the Elche health department and Vinalopó Hospital, we are very much in the downward cure of Covid-19 infection rates.
“We have some of the lowest mortality rates across the whole of the Valencia region with risk levels below over health departments like Torrevieja and Alcoy that have been allowed into Phase 1.
“There is absolutely no logical reason for why we are being prevented from going forward,” the mayor fumed.
He’s also called for specific figures for Crevillente to be disclosed, as all of the statistics are bundled up within an overall total for the Elche health department.