The Road to Twelve in Twelve

The road to twelve in twelve, twelve countries in the first twelve months. A little update on our travels, how we’re getting on with it and preparing to travel again.

With my 28th birthday just around the corner, I’m excited to get back on the road again with Alex, Rio, and Inés. At just under 7 months old, this will be her third road trip as we power on through to reach our goal of Inés visiting 12 countries before 12 months. Knowing that after this one, travel will be quiet again for a while as I head back into working and going back to university! (If you’re a travel PR or hotel manager reading this though… we’re open to talk business! Ha!).

Did we settle for 12 countries though? I think most who know us probably had an inkling that we wouldn’t stop still at 12. Instead, this road trip will take Inés past her 12th country and will bring us some new countries too. Exciting!

I’m excited to see how this road trip will impact Inés’ development and milestones again. Every time we’ve travelled, we’ve seen huge leaps and bounds in her gross and fine motor skills and changes in her speech, understanding and all-round development. The new experiences, the new people, the new sights and sounds. They are all impacting her personality and development in arguably one of the most crucial years where a person does their most growth and learning in any other year of their life.

While traveling with a baby may seem like a daunting or pointless task, experts state that it can significantly boost development. Travel can expand a child’s world, making them more empathetic toward cultural differences and helping them become more resilient and adaptable to changing situations. Studies also show it does shape their linguistic development, even as early as babies.

According to the Department of Education, “recent brain research indicates that birth to age three are the most important years in a child’s development.” which paired with the above, is some of the reasons we have been so eager to travel and do as much as we possibly can with her. We intend to ensure she has the most exposure to the world, people and cultures in her early years, because even if she doesn’t remember it, the photos and the videos, plus the impact on her will be worth it. Can’t you tell we’ve both worked in education?

We think it’s especially important to do things in the now after the period of lockdown and uncertainty we all had.

I thought I’d share some of the highlights of travel for Inés so far.

Watching the lights flash on the hour at The Eiffel Tower in Paris

The fascination that radiated from her face is one that I’ll never forget. At 3 months old, she was spellbound by the EU lights on the Eiffel Tower. It’s the first time we’ve heard an audible “wow” from her little tiny voice. The tired whisper combined with the rubbing of the eyes was a magical moment. She looked at Rio briefly, before returning to be mesmerised by the lights. Once they finished, her nose nuzzled into my shoulder and she was ready for bed. Some things are worth staying up past bedtime for!

Watching the sea lions in Benidorm

Although a local experience, this is one I didn’t want to miss off. If you’re bringing a young family to Benidorm it’s worth stopping off and seeing the sea lions. Inés has loved chatting with the sea lions every single time we’ve been to Aqua Natura. Every time, she gets closer and closer to making the sea lions noises and gets louder every time. The sea lions always seem to chat back which is starting to really crack her up. Maybe she’s part sea lion?

Experiencing the fairy lights in Clermont-Ferrand

We hadn’t expected much from our night stop in Clermont, booking it solely as a respite between Montpellier and the tunnel. It was a good motorway stop off for Rio to get his worming tablet too, but it ended up being one of Inés’ personal favourites from that particular trip up. The lights combined with the chimes of the cathedral were timed perfectly.

Touching Gaudi’s artwork at Park Guell in Barcelona

You’re never too young to appreciates some fine artwork… apparently! The colours of Gaudi’s work is both stimulating and interesting to young eyes. The vibrant colour palette makes the artwork a stark contrast to the extensive green in the park. She particularly loved the dragon stairway.

Seeing snow for the first time in Interlaken

Seeing snow is magical for us all, whether that’s the first time or the hundredth time. Snow is an excellent opportunity for gross and fine motor skills, from throwing snowballs to manipulating and building. Of course, Inés was far too young for this at 4 months, but she smiled and giggled to Rio playing in the snow and snowballs being thrown. She was fascinated by the snow that melted in her hand. Tiny hands get cold very quickly outside, so she tried some of the snow inside the car.

Sitting in the porthole watching the ferry dock into Plymouth

The highlight for me seeing the ferry start to dock was knowing that a cream tea waited for me just the other side of customs, but Inés living in the present was just fascinated by the sea and the gentle rocking. 2 days before her 6 months, this was the first time she pulled herself to standing and balanced herself for a few seconds holding on to the kids play boat. Big milestone!

We are so ready to make more memories with her, especially as she’s well underway and doing so amazingly with her baby led weaning. She’s really enjoying munching on breakfast and dinner with us. At 7 months, she’s already tried an extensive range of food, so we’re excited to see how she responds to local foods on the trip. She’s also crawling around so we’ve tried to book places that allow her to explore and develop her gross motor skills on the trip. She’s getting great at walking, just holding one hand to stabilise now rather than both hands – perhaps she’ll be toddling about sooner than we think!

She is obsessed with Tangled, the Rapunzel movie, at the moment so we’ll have that downloaded ready to watch over and over. Coincidentally, it’s a movie with the moral to follow your dreams and step out of your comfort zone, plus, it’s a movie with lanterns being a reoccurring theme… LUCERNA! The perfect movie for our own little Inés Lucerna.

You really are never too young to travel and gain a knowledge and understanding of the world around yourself.

Here’s to reaching 12 very very soon.

2022 Goals and Intentions

2022 is about to be a wonderful year. And we have big plans for it.

carrying my baby on Poniente Beach

Back in 2019, I published a post titled “2020 Goals, Intentions and Travel Wishlist“. 25 year old me sat down and wrote down things I’d wanted to achieve in 2020. But let’s face it, did any of manage to achieve what we set out to do?

I think having such a strange 2020, I know a complete understatement, meant that come 2021 I had zero intention to sit and write what I hoped to do or achieve. If anything, I just wanted to make it to October as quick as possible.

Why? Because in October, our lives was about to change in the biggest way possible, and we couldn’t wait.

If you only read my blog and don’t follow me on social media then you might not even know that in October, we welcomed our first child. A beautiful baby girl. She has been the greatest gift and the biggest blessing. The journey was incredibly tough, but she is an incredible reward.

I never posted on my blog about my pregnancy or the lead up, because it felt too negative. I was exhausted. I was in constant pain. I struggled every single day and just wanted it to end. I hate that I didn’t have the kind of pregnancy that you read about online. I hate that my pregnancy and childbirth was difficult and, at times, touch and go. Medical negligence is a tough thing to comprehend, the professionals you are trusting didn’t have your best interests. It’s a scary concept.

Combining with the ongoing pandemic, I think 2021 was just a year I needed to solely exist. Get by day by day. I needed to show up for myself and nothing else. I couldn’t do walks and commit to being a positive presence when I was feeling nothing close to it.

Don’t get me wrong, we did lots of fun things. We travelled around Spain to Segovia, Madrid, San Sebastian, Barcelona, Pamplona and other places. We had an amazing baby shower with our friends and family in Leicestershire. We were finally able to see family and friends after over a year. It’s the kind of year that felt like it flew by, but also took forever. 2021 leaves me lost for words.

But 2022 is about to be a wonderful year. Come the birth of our daughter, 2021 was starting to come to a close. I spent November recovering after emergency surgery and finding our feet in our new world. December was a month of anticipation. We had got so excited for her first Christmas, only to spend it with the virus catching up. But 2022, we have high hopes. The year we get to watch our little girl grow and learn every single day.

12 before 12

This year, we’re hoping to do 12 before 12. A mini challenge I’ve set us to visit 12 countries as a family before our daughter hits 12 months old at the end of October. Using Alex’s paternity leave and school holidays, we’re hoping to travel and hit the milestone.

We’re no strangers to road trips now, and with Rio having 14 countries tucked under his collar, we think it’s something we might be able to achieve. With a road trip already pencilled in, it’s looking like it will be possible to do so. Of course, this also depends on restrictions and seeing what happens in the foreseeable. If we’ve learnt anything over the past two years, it’s that we have to act on impulse. Planning in advance is a thing of the past and we need to book last minute.

Considering her middle name is named after a beautiful city in Switzerland, top of our list is to visit there with her. We’re also keen to take her to Paris and a Disney park too.

Film a One Second Everyday for baby girl

I have filmed a one second everyday since 2016 and I love watching our time stitched together. This year, to make it even more special, I’m going to film a second private video of just our daughter. Each year, it will be so special for her to see her growth from birth to however long I keep it up for.

Be a better friend

I want to be a better friend. Properly. I want to show up for my friends. Be there for their milestones. Celebrate their successes. See our children grow together. I have been a distant selfish friend for far too long. Being the friend who shows up for a weekend and then goes again. The friend that misses the birthday parties. The friend that had to reintroduce themselves to their kids every time.

Now we have our daughter, who is months, if not days, apart in age from some of my best friends kids – I want me and her to be there more often. Not just for me, but for our little one too. I want to be able to take her to soft play and to sensory play and to birthday parties with our children.

Use my blog more

For something that actually costs me a small fortune to keep up and running, I barely touched it last year. There was times I considered closing it down altogether. I wasn’t using it and all it was doing was costing me more money in an already difficult financial position with me losing work left, right and centre with the pandemic taking its toll on more and more businesses.

But, for two reasons I kept it going. Firstly, it was still gaining traction with people wanting to know about different things related to my blog. There was questions to answers that people were looking for. There was information about restrictions that were still relevant. There was step by step guides for government bureaucracy which hadn’t changed.

And secondly, it was my outlet. It was the safe place that I wrote my lockdown diaries. It was the place I had felt like I had a friend when we moved to a brand new country alone. I felt like I had grown with my blog and even if I wasn’t writing at that time, I knew there would be a time I’d come back to it.

That time is now.

So, if this is your first time here, or if you’ve been here in the past. I’m back. I may not be a girl anymore, but I feel like I have grown with Diary of a Spanglish Girl. So, whilst I may not feel like I’m a girl, I’ll always be Spanglish Girl at heart. And hey, perhaps the true Spanglish Girl around here is now our girl, born in Benidorm.

My wish for 2022 is that there are many, many highs for not just our little family, but all of us. Every single one of us.

Take care,

L x

Travelling to the UK from Benidorm Spain July 2021

It’s no real surprise that travel at the moment is a little different to what we’re used to. It takes more planning, more money and more preparation than previous travel experiences, but it can be done, as long as you research what needs to be done and safely follow the (hopefully short lived) rules.

drone flying over Leicestershire

It’s no real surprise that travel at the moment is a little different to what we’re used to. It takes more planning, more money and more preparation than previous travel experiences, but it can be done, as long as you research what needs to be done and safely follow the (hopefully short lived) rules.

Take an Antigen Test in Benidorm

Before leaving Spain, whether you’re a British citizen on holiday or an EU citizen, you need to take an antigen test to enter the U.K. This has to be taken within 3 days of entering British territory. It doesn’t matter if you’re vaccinated or not, you still need to have this antigen to travel, whether by boat, plane or land. As we opted to travel through France, an Amber Plus country, it meant that we also needed to enter France within 24 hours of receiving the results, as I’m not vaccinated. Alex was able to enter with his EU Digital Pass. The good news is, as long as you still enter the UK within the time frame, there’s no need to take multiple antigens.

We had our antigen at the IMED Levante, where the results are returned to you within 20 minutes and all available online with a quick option to have it translated into English, Spanish, German or French. Although appointments are recommended, they do have a walk-in service. We opted to walk-in and within 10 minutes of walking in the hospital, we were walking back out again.

You’ll find the COVID-19 tests at -2 of the hospital and it is clearly signposted. There’s no need to go to the main reception. You can pop straight down and sign up at the COVID-19 reception desk. There are other places that offer Antigen tests to return to the U.K. like Clinica Europa for 19€, however they get booked up very quickly and are already booked for over a month in advance. Another known clinic is DAM Health. They are located near the Hotel Marina and offer next day results.

Travelling by Car to Irun

Cavalier King Charles laying on bed

Irún is located on the Spain/France border in the province of Gipuzkoa in the Basque Autonomous Community. The journey is around seven hours by car, so we chose to leave the same day as our COVID test results came in. This allowed for maximum time to cross the France border. There are very few restrictions now in place across the country, but each autonomous community might have their own restrictions in place. In the Valencian Region, there is currently a 1:00am until 6:00am curfew, however, if you have proof of an onward journey, you are still permitted to travel within these times.

breakfast coffee two orange two pain au chocolate two croissants and bread cheese and ham breakfast at ibis

We stopped at the Ibis Irún, which offered free secure parking and a cheap option for a motorway stop with two dogs. The room is as you’d expect in an Ibis chain, but for the location and value, it was excellent. You can opt to have a good breakfast in the morning, which we chose to eat in the room. On nice days, you can sit outside and have meals or drinks in the restaurant, but the rain in the North continued to pour. Signs of weather to come!

Travelling through France

Like Spain, France has now lifted most of its restrictions. We didn’t have any difficulties crossing the border and masks are only compulsory indoors. There isn’t a curfew and we didn’t need to provide a reason to travel or provide any documentation.

The day travelling through France was long and tiring, I imagine even more so for Alex who had to do the 10 hour drive. Making regular stops for me, 7 months pregnant and two dogs meant that the journey through ended up being around 14 hours in total.

We spent the night at the Ibis Coquelles right next to the Eurotunnel. The hotel again had parking which was free and a cheap option with the dogs, charging only 7€ per dog. The hotel meant that our 9am crossing on the Eurotunnel was easy and stress-free, with us being a mere 5 minutes drive away. We found the room to be basic, as you’d expect an Ibis to be, but comfortable. The only complaint is there is only one plug in the hotel room, so be prepared to only have one device charged overnight.

route from benidorm to irun to coquelles

Entering the U.K. Preparation

Within 48 hours of entering the U.K, you need to have your locator form and coronavirus test package booked. All this documentation also needs uploading to the Eurotunnel account, so we needed to do it either the night before or the morning of the crossing. Conscious of time and documents being checked, we opted to do it at night, even though we were tired!

First things first is you need to book your coronavirus test package. Currently, France is on the Amber Plus list, so even if you are fully vaccinated, you need to book the day 2 and day 8 test package and undertake 10 days quarantine. You do have the option of paying for a test to release on day 5 to shorten the quarantine time. We used the Regenerative Clinic who had an offer for the day 2 and day 8 package for £119 each. If you are an expat booking these tests, be aware that it asks for your “home address”, which in a tired state of mind, we obviously put the Spain address. It took some phone calls and emails to get this changed to our quarantine address! Once you have paid for the tests, you’ll receive a reference number which you can add to your passenger locator form as proof you’ve booked your tests.

The passenger locator form is done online and is a relatively painless task. It will ask simple questions about where you have been prior to entering the U.K, if you have any symptoms and your vaccination status. It will also ask for your reference number for the coronavirus tests and where you’ll be quarantining. If you are fully vaccinated by the NHS and only travel. to an amber country (not France!), you only need a day 2 test and no need to quarantine. This also includes children under 18 travelling with you. If you were vaccinated by the EU, you currently need a day 2 and day 8 test plus 10 days quarantine. However, after 2nd August at 4am, EU citizens will be able to travel to the UK without quarantine if they are fully vaccinated, again, this currently doesn’t include France. You need to be out of France 10 days prior to entering the U.K to avoid quarantine.

Crossing the Tunnel

an empty eurotunnel

If there was ever an experience of what the tunnel would look like during a zombie apocalypse, this was it. The crossing was a solemn stark contrast to the busy, but socially distanced, service stations, hotels and life in Benidorm that we had got back used to. Instead, we drove in to a completely deserted car park with everything closed, except Starbucks. We arrived at 8am, so I’m not too sure if things were opening later on, or if this was the reality of travelling from an Amber plus at the moment and the spanner in the works this government u-turn made so last minute. On our crossing, there was a handful of other cars, no more than 5.

We couldn’t fault the Eurotunnel. The experience was stress-free and the staff were friendly and helpful. We were given the option to get on an earlier train which we opted for. We had checked both dogs in at the pet reception which had also been a positive experience. Both dogs were required to have a worming tablet 1-5 days before entering the U.K, which they had taken in Benidorm. Rio travelled with his EU passport and Marley travelled with his EU medical certificate, which is now required for each trip to Europe following Brexit changes.

Which leads us to now. Over half way through our ten day quarantine, considering whether to invest in a test to release for around £200, or to just wait it out. We have received multiple negative tests so it does feel very frustrating to still be quarantining, especially with Alex being fully vaccinated. We have the excitement every day of the track and trace staff calling us to check we are still quarantine and understand the rules and implications for breaking them and the takeaway Starbucks, Costa Coffee and McDonald’s breakfasts that arrive once a day.

Rio is having a blast playing with Marley and you’d really think they were brothers, or at least related in some way. Two, not castrated, male dogs who just love each other so much. They’re constantly playing together, or cuddling in the same dog bed or kissing one another. You’d really believe they’d grown up together.

We’re really looking forward to the baby shower and visiting some friends and family that we haven’t seen in a long time, as well as hopefully doing some travelling in the U.K. We’d love to take Rio up to Scotland, to Liverpool and also down to London, but we’ll see what happens!

We’re home. Our last trip before our little one arrives. Wish us luck!

Spain lifts restrictions from Monday on the arrival of British tourists – british government still advises against travel to spain

Tourists from safe countries such as United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and South Korea may enter without health controls.

The President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, has announced at Fitur conference that from this Monday 24th May 2021, Spain will lift the health controls for tourists arriving from countries included in the Spanish green list and those considered “safe”, including the United Kingdom, the main tourism market for the Valencian Community. The Government’s decision means that from next Monday British tourists will be able to enter Spain without providing a negative COVID test.

Sánchez has made this announcement during the presentation of the covid certificate that will come into force on July 1 and explained that in addition to European countries, the government has decided to open the door to other countries where the vaccination campaign is well advanced and the incidence of the virus very low.

In addition, from June 7th, any tourist who proves that they have received the complete schedule of the coronavirus vaccine will be able to enter Spain without undergoing PCR controls from June 7th.

Although British tourists are not required to present a PCR at Spain’s airports, they are still subject to following the amber list rules. This includes two home PCR tests and quarantine.

Benidorm Prepares to Open on March 1st 2021

These are the main measures adopted today for the next 14 days and which come into effect from midnight on March 1st 2021:

The Generalitat Valenciana opens the terraces of the bars until six o’clock and extends the business hours from Monday 1st March 2021

Ximo Puig announces that the perimeter closures in the 16 most populated cities will be lifted during the weekend and meetings of four people will be allowed in public spaces

The Valencian Government has started the de-escalation of the third wave with a set of measures that soften the restrictions imposed on January 21 due to the evolution of the pandemic. The Valencian Community was at breaking point earlier on in the year as the incidence reached 1,400 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, and hospitals were on the brink of collapse. For this reason, a situation of semi-confinement measures were set in place.

However, now is a much more positive story. With an incidence of 176 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, below the Spanish average (218), the commission, chaired by the president of the Generalitat, the socialist Ximo Puig, and with the assistance of the two vice-presidents, Mónica Oltra, de Compromís, and Rubén Martínez Dalmau, from Unides Podem, among others, have decided to ease the restrictions and review them week by week depending on the the figures. The purpose is to go little by little to avoid reproducing what happened after the Christmas holidays. “We are better off, but we are not well,” said Puig.

These are the main measures adopted today for the next 14 days and which come into effect from midnight on March 1st 2021:

Hospitality reopens in the community on Monday morning:

Opening of the terraces of the bars until 6pm, while the interiors are kept closed, with a maximum of four people per table, always with a mask when not consuming. Until now, they could only sell takeout food and drinks. The terraces have their capacity capped at 75%.

Limits of 4 people in public spaces

A Four people limit from different cohabiting families in the public space. Until now it was two people. In private, like homes, the restriction of the family nucleus is maintained.

The perimeter closures stops

Monday marks the end of the perimeter closures of the 16 Valencian municipalities with more than 50,000 inhabitants (comprising about 2.5 million people) that affected Valencia, Alicante, Castellón, Elche, Gandia, Alcoi, Benidorm, Orihuela, Paterna, Elda, Petrer, Sagunto, Torrent, Torrevieja, Sant Vicent del Raspeig and Vila-real. This weekend is the final one.

Extension of business hours

Extension of the opening hours of shops until eight at night. Until now, the hours ended at six, with the exception of food stores, pharmacies and others which were considered essential (such as opticians or establishments of orthopedic products, hairdressers and places where food for pets is sold). They are capped at 50% capacity.

Sports

It’s now allowed to exercise in open sports facilities, without physical contact, also in those run by professionals in groups of maximum four people with a coach.

Playgrounds, parks and gardens re-open

Public parks and gardens are reopened and the capacity in religious spaces is increased to 50%.

Restrictions that are maintained

The curfew is maintained, from 10 at night until six in the morning.

The restriction of meetings inside the houses to the cohabiting nucleus. 

The regional perimeter closure that prevents entering or leaving the Valencian Community is also extended.

The measures that remain in force will last 14 days, although next week the interdepartmental commission will meet again to evaluate the situation, on which the president has promised that the limitations last only the necessary time, “not a day longer than necessary.”

In this regard, Puig has highlighted that the favorable epidemiological evolution in the Valencian Community, with an incidence that dropped by 88% since the adoption of the limitations.

It’s important that everybody works together and sticks to these restrictions in order to continue moving forward.

New Restrictions That Will Affect Benidorm March 2021

De-escalation of the restrictions in the Valencian Community: The measures that will change and those that will be extended on March 1st 2021

De-escalation of the restrictions in the Valencian Community:
The measures that will change and those that will be extended on March 1st 2021

benidorm beach Poniente

The Generalitat have made a decision on the new regulations against coronavirus and will announce them officially this Thursday. These restrictions have been released for the press to discuss and will officially be in place once the decree is written and published.

The huge decrease in the cumulative incidence of coronavirus cases and the huge release of pressure on the healthcare in the Valencian Community allows the Generalitat to decree the beginning of the de-escalation of the current restrictions against Covid-19, which officially remain in force until 11:59pm on 1st March 2021.

From then on, new measures will be implemented, such as the reopening of the hospitality industry which, after forty days of total closure, will reopen the terraces; the practice of outdoor sports and the lifting of perimeter confinement on weekends in cities with more than 50,000 inhabitants, which included Benidorm.

The president of the Generalitat, Ximo Puig, and the Ministry of Health have already publicly advanced some of the “slow, prudent and gradual” de-escalation plan of the restrictions, which will be approved this Thursday by the Interdepartmental Table for the management of Covid-19 for its entry into force next week.

Despite pressure from “Podemos” government partners, who want to extend the restrictions for at least another month, the Generalitat will announce a de-escalation this Thursday that, in any case, will maintain some of the current limitations such as the night curfew and the perimeter closure of the Valencian Community, in order to restrict mobility as much as possible. The objective is to reduce contact with outside of the Valencian Community due to fears of a fourth wave caused by the British variant. The Generalitat will maintain the closure of gyms for at least another fifteen calendar days.

While waiting for the official announcement of the President of the Generalitat on the de-escalation of the restrictions, scheduled for this Thursday, these are the measures that are due to change and those that are scheduled to remain as of March.

New Measures

Hospitality:

The bars and restaurants may reopen but only on the terraces, with fifty percent capacity and limited hours. It remains undecided whether they must close at six or eight, and the number of diners allowed per table in still in question.

Sports:

The Generalitat will reopen the outdoor sports facilities from March, but will keep the gyms, pavilions and indoor swimming pools closed until the situation allows it, at least for two more weeks.

Municipal confinements:

The regional government will lift the perimeter closure during the weekends in the municipalities of Valencia, Alicante, Elche, Castellón, Torrevieja, Torrent, Orihuela, Gandía, Paterna, Benidorm, Sagunt, Alcoy, Sant Vicent del Raspeig, Elda-Petrer and Vila-real.

Measures that are extended

Perimeter closure:

The Government will extend the prohibition to leave and enter the Valencian Community except for justified labor or health reasons. The idea of the Generalitat is to maintain this measure beyond Easter to restrict tourism from other parts of Spain.

Curfew:

The Generalitat is inclined to extend the curfew, which starts at ten at night until six in the morning.

Non essential shops:

The initial approach is to maintain the closing time for non-essential shops at six in the afternoon, but the employer’s association has demanded that the Generalitat extend it until eight. It remains unclear whether the shops will be open until 6pm or 8pm.

On Thursday, I will watch the conference live and translate the important information including the confirmation of the restrictions. I will be updating as soon as the conference is over on my Facebook and on my website. Make sure you sign up for email updates to receive the information as it happens. This will also sign you up to our free monthly online magazine.

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Coronavirus Facts and Figures

There are currently 80 PCR cases in the last 14 days in Benidorm. In the Valencian Community there are currently 344 in the ICU. In the Valencian Community, as of February 22nd, there are 99,045 people [Ministerio de Sanidad] who have received both doses of a Coronavirus vaccine. The Vaccines currently in circulation are the Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca.

When will the de-escalation of restrictions in Benidorm due to coronavirus begin

The decrease in the cumulative incidence of Covid-19 allows the Generalitat to start to create a progressive measures relaxation plan that will last at least until May.

The decrease in the cumulative incidence of Covid-19 allows the Generalitat to start to create a progressive measures relaxation plan that will last at least until May.

The restrictions decreed by the Generalitat, which included the total closure of the hospitality industry and the perimeter confinement of the most populated cities on weekends, has shown to have taken a positive effect and the cumulative incidence has massively dropped.

This week there will be no changes to the current measures that are in effect until March 1st. As of that date, the government led by Ximo Puig prepares a de-escalation “slow, gradual and with prudence”. The details of the plan to relax the restrictions will be decided at the Interdepartmental Table for the management of the Covid-19 crisis this Thursday, but the measures will not take effect until next week.

This week the president will announce the de-escalation of some of the restrictions which affect Benidorm. It is likely that hospitality industry will be open with outdoor terraces but with reduced hours possibly until five or six in the afternoon. It is also expected that gyms will re-open and non-professional sports activities will resume.

The government are strongly inclined to maintain the curfew from ten at night until six in the morning, as well as maintain the perimeter closure of the Valencian Community as well as the cap of 6pm for non-essential shops.

However, the decrease in the cumulative incidence of the coronavirus could lead to the lifting of the confinement during the weekends of the sixteen cities with a population greater than 50,000, which includes Benidorm.

Ximo Puig has expressed that the de-escalation will not be quick and the restrictions will last for months, at least until May 9th, when the state of alarm decreed by the Government is scheduled to end. The president of the Generalitat will propose the prohibition of travel between autonomous communities at Easter to avoid a new spike in cases like the one that occurred over the Christmas holidays.

More information to follow when the announcements have been made.

The Spain Coronavirus Vaccination Schedule and Figures

THE SPAIN CORONAVIRUS VACCINATION SCHEDULE AND FIGURES

Photo by Flo Dahm on Pexels.com

Has Spain started the vaccination? How far is Spain along with their vaccination schedule? Is Spain on track for 70% vaccinated by summer seems to be the questions on everybody’s lips at the moment. I’m pleased to say, yes, Spain has started the vaccination and they are well on track with their vaccination schedule to have 70% of the population vaccinated by summer.

The vaccination campaign against Covid-19 has been well underway throughout Europe since December 27th 2020. As of that date, Spain has administered a portion of its 4.5 million doses of Pfizer and BioNTech. The plan laid out distributed the vaccination doses by autonomous communities, with the aim to vaccinate 2.3 million people in 12 weeks, as the vaccination requires a double injection. The first to receive the vaccine is those who are living in care home residences and their key workers.

There have been concerns about the percentage of the population vaccinated in Spain, mainly due to mainstream media slamming the percentage. However, it is vital to know that the way that Spain and the U.K. report figures is completely different. I will outline to you the amount of people vaccinated in Spain in this article.

The graph below shows you the doses of the vaccine in Spain. The top line refers to how many doses have been received, the dark blue middle line refers to how many doses have been administered and the light blue bottom line refers to how many people have been vaccinated. This means how many people are fully vaccinated and completed the two doses, not how many people have received their first vaccine. The Valencian Community started administering the second doses on 17th January 2021.

https://elpais.com/sociedad/2021-02-09/asi-evoluciona-la-vacunacion-contra-la-covid-en-espana-y-en-el-mundo.html

The autonomous communities receive a new batch of vaccines every week, and distribute them according to the strategy they have designed. In the following table this will show how many have been received and administered since the vaccination campaign began and how many they use each week. This will also show how many people are fully vaccinated in each autonomous community.

The table shows first the percent of the doses administered, then the total received, the total administered, the amount administered per 100,000 population and how many people have been fully vaccinated. This means how many people have completed the vaccination. The final column refers to when the table was last updated.

The Valencian Community where Benidorm is located has finished vaccinating over 90,000 people.

The schedule is very much on track and it is understandable that things are slower to begin with. Communities also have to wait for their doses to arrive and distributed accordingly. Once the vaccination schedule moves to those who are in society rather than those living in care homes, the speed of administering will also become much quicker. There is at present no reason to believe that the population could be 70% vaccinated by summer.

Another interesting aspect is that on March 9th, the EU is set to approve a one dose vaccine, which will speed things up even more. This will mean people will only need one dose so once they are vaccinated it is finished. This will boost the rate of vaccination massively.

A major difference between the EU and the United Kingdom is that the United Kingdom is currently offering three vaccines and not two. The EU will not be using the Oxford vaccine on anybody over the age of 55, due to concerns that is doesn’t work effectively. Therefore, they are saving these doses for the under 55’s who will be receiving it.

For some reference, I am one of the last people who will receive the vaccine and currently it’s scheduled that the earliest I will receive my first vaccination is 1st June 2021. Here in Spain, you have to receive your next vaccine within 21 days of the first vaccine, they are not extending it any further than that. Therefore, due to the current schedule, it’s predicted that I will be fully vaccinated by the end of June. This shows that the vaccination programme is currently going according to the schedule. Those who are 70+ and do not live in a care home facility are scheduled to start being vaccinated from March 1st, which is when the current restrictions in the Valencian Community are currently set to finish.

I hope this gives you a bit more information and helps you understand the vaccination schedule for COVID19 in Spain.

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Is Spain on the hotel quarantine list for the U.K.?

If you are travelling to the U.K. from Spain you are not required to stay in a hotel quarantine. However, you are required to undergo a quarantine and provide details to the U.K. government on arrival.

Hotel quarantines: Full ‘red list’ of countries subject to new Covid-19 rules for UK arrivals

spanish steps calpe spain

There have been growing concerns and a number of people emailing me asking me whether the U.K. are going to implement the hotel quarantine for Spain arrivals. The new measures in the U.K. have been announced by the media and the government that it will start an 11 day quarantine in a registered hotel with the charge going to the visitor to the U.K. on February 15th 2021. This quarantine is for tourists and U.K. residents and is compulsory for those who have travelled to one of the red list countries.

If you are travelling to the U.K. from Spain you are not required to stay in a hotel quarantine. However, you are required to undergo a quarantine and provide details to the U.K. government on arrival.

The announcement basically covers countries which were already subject to a strict travel ban due to concerns over the mutant strains which included South Africa, Portugal and South American nations. The Prime Minister announced that those returning from the red list countries would be met at the airport and escorted to the hotel or other government approved facility. This is a very similar process to Australia and New Zealand.

Spain is not on the red list of countries subject to the new Covid-19 rules for U.K. arrivals. However, you are still subject to a 10 day quarantine when returning from Spain, at the moment, which can be shortened by taking a private test. You are also required to present a negative PCR test no more than 72 hours old when arriving to the U.K. from Spain, and you also need to provide a negative PCR 72 hours before arriving in Spain.

Please also note that only Spanish residents or Spanish citizens are legally allowed to travel into Spain at the moment from the U.K.

The 33 countries that are required to stay in a hotel quarantine are as follows: Angola, Argentine, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Burundi, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, Eswatini, French Guiana, Guyana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal (including Madeira and the Azores), Rwanda, Seychelles, South Africa, Suriname, Tanzania, United Arab Emirates (this includes Dubai), Uruguay, Venezuela, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

This information is valid on 5th February 2021 but subject to change. Please seek advice before travelling back to the U.K.



Keep Reading?

Travelling to the UK from Benidorm Spain July 2021

It’s no real surprise that travel at the moment is a little different to what we’re used to. It takes more planning, more money and more preparation than previous travel experiences, but it can be done, as long as you research what needs to be done and safely follow the (hopefully short lived) rules.

Benidorm Blogger: Quick Update From The Benidorm Trio

It’s been a while since I sat down and just wrote a blog post about what’s going on, what we’ve been up to and how things are going.

It’s been a while since I sat down and just wrote a blog post about what’s going on, what we’ve been up to and how things are going. I really got into the swing of doing a daily post back in Lockdown last year, but since then my blog has taken a back seat from the videos that have taken up so much of our time.

The Benidorm skyline from Benidorm port

It’s February 4th at 10am as I start writing this post with a bowl of coco pops overlooking the sun that is starting to burn through the fog this morning. Our gardener is pottering around and cutting down trees and the sound of the sea waves is gradually floating in. Rio is curled up in a ball on my feet snoring away. It’s moments of peace like this that I am thankful for.

For the past few days, I’ve had a sore back. Back on Tuesday, I could barely move without being in agony so I’m massively relieved to have some sort of relief. I’ve now got a lot more range of movement back and it’s only when I lean too far over that I feel a twinge. I managed to do a 10km walk with Rio around Benidorm and I do feel like that took my mind off it and eased it up.

Sitting on bench holding coffee

Speaking of Benidorm, it’s very quiet around here at the moment, with the current restrictions, there are far fewer people about, except on the beach which seems to be more popular than ever. Locals, me included, would never have dreamed about spending a day on the beach in January or February before, yet here we all are appreciating the sun and taking every opportunity to be outside. My local café are offering takeaways at the moment and honestly I don’t know if I ever want to stop going for a coffee and croissant with ham and cheese to eat on the beach with Rio in the morning.

It’s been glorious weather wise for the past week or so. We even managed to sneak a few beach days in! We did have some fog this morning and the sea mist yesterday which was cool. It’s crazy how quickly it comes in and how quickly the buildings disappear. There have been some amazing photos of the weather on social media.

So, what’s new with us? Alex is still teaching in person at his school and I’m still working as a Marketing Assistant. I was sad to lose one of my longest standing social media managing clients over the weekend, but I’m remaining positive that something else will come along. As one door closes – another one opens, as they say. I’m not going to sit about and wait for that door to find me, I’m out there trying to knock on every door now. I do still have one of my jobs, although it’s only part time I’m grateful to still have that.

Quite possibly the most exciting thing to happen to me recently, alongside being appointed an ambassador for Benidorm which I still pinch myself about, is the interview that I did for the British Embassy in Spain. I never would’ve dreamed that something like this would happen to me. But, receiving that correspondence was a wonderful feeling. I was incredibly nervous to provide content in Spanish, but I think it went well. If you missed it, you should be able to view it below.

I’m powering through with my fictional story too. It’s quite foreign to me, writing for a story. I’m used to writing factual events, things we did, reviews of places we’ve been, travel information. That sort of thing. So writing creatively is a challenging yet exciting concept. Although it’s a slow process, I’m sure it will be worth it in the end. I’m also working on some children’s stories too. No rest for the wicked, isn’t that what they say? With Rio as the key character, I had the idea of making him a loveable character in cartoon form who grows up with young children and becomes everybody’s pet they grow up with. I have written a few short rhyming stories for the very young and eventually I’m hoping to take it through primary school development ages. The idea is to implement travel as a key discussion point and make learning fun with Rio.

I am working closely with a graphic designer to create a realistic cartoon Rio, with beautiful backdrops that should not only peak children’s interest, but also be nice for adults to read to their children too. Alex and I were talking about how amazing it would be if Rio could be forever remembered as a children’s book favourite character. We know how loved he is far and wide so to extend that even further would be a beautiful thing. His face is one of those that you can’t help but smile back at, so who knows how much joy and potential these children’s books would be.

Alex and I are also getting excited for our day out with Visit Benidorm. On the last activities, it was only me who ventured out with them. Mainly because it was to assess my suitability as an ambassador for the company, but also because Alex was working through the week. This time, all three of us will be heading out on an adventure, so I can’t wait to share more about that when we know what’s happening.

Alex is loving using his camera to play about with new ideas and it’s giving me a lot of nice photos to post on Instagram too, which is great. I used to have a strict colour scheme on my Instagram, but I’m really loving just posting freely what I feel like posting without worrying too much whether it matches or not.

I keep thinking about how spring is coming soon. The flowers blooming. The longer days. The animals that will spring into life. We’re in a turmoil of emotions at the moment, all of us. All missing something or other. Whether that’s family and friends. Holidays. Our favourite places. Our local bar. Normality. We all crave that life we all had before the tsunami of 2020 hit. The irony isn’t lost on us that we’ve been here for 4 years and never made any friends our own age to hang out with. But now, we’ve got three couples our age who live here who we message and we’re all desperate for days out and cocktails, yet we’re not allowed yet.

But, the days will get better. Things will get better. And, I for one, absolutely cannot wait. I hope you’re all keeping safe and well. Please don’t ever feel alone, my inbox is always open.

Together, we will see better days.

Lauren x

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