British expat in Spain’s Costa del Sol celebrates rule change after ‘tough’ 12 months

Spain vaccination stance 'really good news' says Aspey

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Sue Aspey owns the Wigan Bar in Benalmadena on the Spanish Costa del Sol. The Briton spoke to BBC News after the rule change.

Sue said: “It’s marvellous news, it’s really really good news and I have to say ‘Well done to Spain’ for bringing this before the Easter holidays.

“We get a lot of families who come over with the children. I was talking to a lady yesterday, who was saying that the whole family wouldn’t be able to come for Easter as they normally would, because one child had turned 12 and had one jab but wouldn’t have had time to have the second jab in time.

“This child can now have the PCR test. If it’s negative, the whole family can come and that will really be the same for so many people.

“It’ll be good for everybody.”

Spain has announced that children between the ages of 12 and 17 will be able to travel if they aren’t fully vaccinated.

They must take a negative PCR test 72 hours before travel if they want to enter Spain.

Unvaccinated British adults will still not be allowed to travel to Spain and must have had a booster if their second jab was over 270 days ago.

The news has been welcomed by British families with children in that age group with holidays booked for half term.

Sue said that the pandemic had been very “tough” for her establishment in Benalmadena.

She said: “From our personal point of view we were locked down for nearly three months, then once we reopened, we did very nearly 12 months open every day but on occasion we’d take five euros in eight hours.

“It’s really been tough for everybody. Light at the end of the tunnel, there are more people coming over now.

“There’s a lot more British here at the moment and I’m glad to say we’ve been quite busy these last two weeks actually so it’s looking very promising.”

Some British people had said that Benalmadena was a ‘ghost town’ in January due to a lack of British tourists.

The popular resort is usually packed during the summer months and has a sizable expat community.

Sue praised the Spanish authorities for their management of the pandemic, despite the difficulties.

She said: “They’ve been very good over here anyway, the authorities have made sure that the rules have been in place and people stay safe.

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“We have felt very safe the whole way through and now that people from Britain can come.”

The rules for British teenagers will change from February 14, just in time for some half-term holidays.

The Canary Islands had led the charge for a rule change, with many of its tourism officials calling for unvaccinated teenagers to be permitted entry.

Tenerife, Lanzarote, Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura are normally busy during the winter months but had suffered cancellations due to Spain’s tough entry rules.

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