National News

Travel trouble on the Costas

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THE Spanish Costas are largely dependent on tourism, not just from outside of Spain but also domestic travellers, in particular from places such as Madrid. However, there are concerns that many Madrileños are taking advantage of some unexpected free time to have an unplanned holiday on the coast – and possibly bringing the coronavirus with them. Coming up to the weekend Gandia, Denia, Torrevieja and Orihuela are all reporting a significant influx of visitors, many of them holiday home-owners from the Spanish capital who may well have been advised to stay at home as schools and workplaces are closed.

Local health centres are all also reporting an increase in people requesting tests for the Covid-19 virus, despite advice to call a helpline number rather than go directly to medical facilities if you are concerned you may have contracted the illness. Valencian president Ximo Puig has said that “it does not seem appropriate to travel” at this time while Madrid is the epicentre of the virus in Spain. He asked that people who were worried about possible infection called the special helpline on 900 300 555 rather than go in person to a health centre. A spokesman for Gandia Hospital said that they had been overwhelmed by requests for tests from domestic tourists from outside of the Valencian Community.

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