Today the British government has announced its plans to get the tourism industry moving allowing people to travel again. England will form air bridges with a number of countries including Spain that will allow people to travel and holiday abroad this summer.
The air bridge announcement does not apply to the whole of the UK though as Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have not signed up to the scheme at this time.
Here in Spain the ‘new normal’ is in full swing with people now arriving and enquiring about property. Going to restaurants and bars as well as the beach is possible here meaning your holiday will be a good one.
Life is mainly outdoors when you are in Spain so social distancing is the norm with masks only worn when this is not possible. Loving life is important to the Spanish and whether you are getting out on the golf course or mountain biking, out on the open water or dining by the Med, you will get that in bucket loads on your stay here.
The Institute for Spanish Tourism Quality have released 12 guides so far on how to prevent the spread of the virus and protect tourists and locals. People must now remain 1.5 metres apart and from what we are seeing everyday this is happening.
It is excellent news to see the air bridges opening up travel again, so if the lockdown has had you scouring the internet for a new home in Spain we can help you find it. If you are searching for property with great outside space we can help you pick the perfect residence for your budget and lifestyle.
Overlooking the sea or a golf course, or perhaps a finca in the countryside. We have a wide range of properties in the most highly desirable resorts on the Costa del Sol.
With the current lockdown looking to be going well within Spain and other European destinations the announcement of borders re opening as soon as June/July will make many people very happy.
The European Commission considers the Europe to be in ‘Phase 0’ right now – with borders between member States still shut, but the countries in question are starting to apply mechanisms to gradually open up restrictions on movement.
‘Phase 1’ in Europe will see a ‘partial’ lifting of border controls and restrictions, and if this cannot be across the board and immediate, an easing off could start between ‘region, areas or member States’ whose ‘situation and evolution’ in terms of virus control are similar.
As yet, the respective situations in each member State, or parts thereof, are not clear enough to be able to work out a possible strategy, but it is expected this will be on the cards soon.
Where travel between two areas or countries whose contagion situation is different – one being farther ahead and nearer recovery than another – ‘extra steps’ will be taken when crossing borders, including ‘additional vigilance and control’.
Authorisation by the different member nations to travel to given areas must be in an ‘informed and coordinated manner’, based on ‘three criteria’ and cannot be ‘discriminatory’, the Commission warns – meaning permission to travel must be for all territories which comply with the criteria and for all citizens, with no ‘cherry-picking’ between them.
As an example, if Spain, Portugal and France were all in similar situations concerning the Covid-19 pandemic, Spain could not allow its residents to travel to Portugal but not France, and could not permit travel to ‘Spanish nationals only’.
Also, says the Commission, no country will be permitted to open borders with neighbouring countries but not with anywhere else in the EU – the criteria to follow will be based upon the ‘epidemiological situation’ in given member States, not the distance between them. So, for example, if Portugal, France and Germany were in a similar position to Spain, then Spain would not be allowed to permit travel to Portugal and France but not Germany.
This is excellent news for those with property here that want to come and spend the summer here.
‘Phase 1’ in Europe would mean ‘prioritising’ cross-border movements in ‘key areas of the economy’, says the Commission – which may well include international tourism, in the case of Spain and other Mediterranean nations where the holiday industry forms a major chunk of their income.
The Commission says it is ‘very concerned’ that the pandemic may affect the common market, ‘just as it’s recovering now from the financial crisis of 2008’, and for this reason wants any restrictions on international travel within the bloc to be ‘proportionate, effective, and not to go beyond what is necessary to contain the pandemic and protect public health’.
Countries whose Covid-19 situation is ‘improving’ will be among the first to open up to each other, but they will also be required to have ‘mechanisms in place’ for containing the pandemic, both at the border and beyond, including restrictions in areas where social distancing is not possible.
One of these mechanisms, the Commission says, could be that a tourist automatically receives an SMS on their mobile phone when crossing a border giving them information about national and regional restrictions, and who to contact if they experience Covid-19 symptoms.
‘Phase 2’ in Europe, which will be the equivalent of Spain’s ‘Phase 3’, will come with a general internal border opening and will happen once the ‘epidemiological situation’ in all EU member States is ‘sufficiently positive and comparable’, but precautions will still apply, including hand-sanitiser dispensers, information campaigns, social distancing and, in countries where it is compulsory, masks being worn.
Several airlines have announced their plans to reinstate flights albeit fewer of them in June which is good news. Brussels recommends all member States ‘limit contact’ between passengers and between employees in the transport industry, largely by ‘reducing numbers’ on board and making mask use compulsory.
The Commission recommends tickets be available online at all times and this method encouraged where possible, so as to avoid touching more than necessary and limiting person-to-person contact. Additionally, physical distancing should be maintained at security, baggage re-claim and check-in.
“Fewer passengers should be allowed on board,” the Commission says, “to enable physical distancing, particularly between passengers who are not part of the same household.
Hotels, apartments and other accommodation
Parts of Spain whose tourism is largely based upon holiday homes, either owner-occupied or rented, are expecting to be able to open to visitors much sooner than those which rely mostly on hotels – holiday homes, even when used by multiple sets of guests over the course of a summer, have fewer, or no, communal areas, and self-catering trips reduce the necessity for people having to eat in restaurants.
The European Commission wants all accommodation to have ‘health and hygiene procedures’ in place, and tourism will only be opened up in places where hotels, holiday parks, resorts and other types of living quarters are near to a health service which has ‘sufficient capacity’ to treat not only locals, but also tourists on top of locals.
In some coastal areas in Spain, the population doubles or even quadruples in summer, and health service reinforcements for the season must be able to cope with this influx more than ever before – in addition to the usual heightened hospital and GP surgery traffic, they need to be able to handle a hypothetical Covid-19 outbreak among tourists and residents alike, and have the resources available for testing and for tracing anyone who may have been in contact with a person diagnosed.
“These regulations are to allow people to stay in hotels, holiday parks, B&Bs and other accommodation, eat and drink in restaurants, bars and cafés, and go to the beach, safely,” the Commission says.
All of this is progress for Spain and nearby countries and gets us closer to being as back to normal as can be hoped as soon as possible. Bromley Estates Marbella are fully operational whilst observing a safe environment for our customers and staff at all times. We are contactable via email and phone and very much look forward to welcoming you soon!
It has been a long lockdown period but during Phase Zero which started on Monday 4th May there were several types of business that were allowed to be open complying with health and safety regulations for public health.
Many of the businesses that took advantage of the easing of restrictions were hairdressing salons, whose services are in great demand after weeks of confinement whilst complying with regulations.
These regulations include wearing personal protective equipment, providing hand sanitiser and ensuring a distance of two metres between customers as well as disinfecting measures.
Other professionals who have been able to start offering their services by appointment are physiotherapists, dentists, opticians and beauticians. Here at Bromley Estates developments will be open and viewings are strictly by appointment only.
Activity has also resumed in some restaurants and bars this week. Phase Zero allows them to prepare meals to take away, if customers have ordered in advance by phone or internet. Lockdown is set to ease in other countries too and we are yet to see how travel will be affected between countries.
Many people will be missing breaks to their holiday homes or indeed to fly in and search for a property. Keeping people safe is always the highest priority and if you are looking for a property on the Costa del Sol we are still working so can help you with the search.
Meanwhile as exercising in the fresh air became allowed this week, many of the promenades that are usually brimming with people at this time of the year were filling up with most observing the social distancing rules and the timing rules requested by government. There is a reminder below of who should be out and when.
Time slots for physical exercise
- 6-10am and 8-11pm. Adults and teenagers 14 and over can go for a walk. A maximum of two people together if they are from the same household. One walk per day. Limited to 1km radius from home.
- 6-10am and 8-11pm. Adults and teenagers 14 and over can practise individual sports, once a day and must stay within municipal boundaries.
- 10am-12pm and 7-8pm. The over-70s and dependent citizens with carers can go out for a walk. Once a day and within a 1km radius of the home.
- 12-7pm. A parent can go out with up to three children for one hour a day within a 1km radius from the home.
Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced earlier this week an easing of lockdown measures here in Spain after a long lockdown period. This is excellent news for business as it shows light at the end of the tunnel. Here in the Costa del Sol we had a relatively low number of cases compared to the rest of Spain, but have strictly adhered to the lockdown rules.
From this week children 14 and under were allowed to go out for some exercise and fresh air with a parent or guardian. Very welcome news for those that have been locked down in apartments with no or limited outside space to enjoy.
If you lived within 1km from the beach you could go out and exercise there. Perfect news for those owners of beachside properties who have at least been enjoying the views over these last weeks.
The new normality is expected to begin on 22nd June after gradual de-escalation as long as the pandemic continues to decline. From 4th-10th of May, it is proposed that some small retail outlets and other commercial enterprises will re-open for individual appointments. Bars & restaurants will be allowed to offer a takeaway service. Adults will be allowed to leave home but the nature of these regulations are yet to be confirmed.
11th-24th May Phase 1 – some limited social gatherings may be permitted amongst small groups. Customers may enjoy a drink on outdoor terraces of bars or restaurants though numbers may be limited to 30% capacity. The wearing of facemasks will be strongly recommended. Those owning second homes may go to them from 11th May providing the property is located in the same province. Outside of the province, travel to a holiday home is permitted after 22nd June.
25th May-7th June Phase 2 – social contact that is permitted will be made more extensive. This may include re-opening of cultural venues like theatres and cinemas as well as museums but with a capped capacity. Bars and restaurants will be allowed to welcome clients inside as long as social distancing is enforced. Hotels and other tourist accommodation will be allowed to open areas such as swimming pools limited to a third of capacity.
8th-21st June Phase 3 – this is the time of more flexibility as long as the virus numbers continue to drop. Shops and business will be able to cater for 50 per cent of their full capacity and shopping malls will be re-opened again with a 50 per cent capacity and social distancing measures.
This is all a work in progress, but it is progress. Whether you live here in Spain or are aiming to travel here, the new normality will be arriving any time soon so we can start building our futures again whether you are looking for a property on a golf course or one by the beach, we have some great deals available and some great offers and discounted properties to make those dreams come true!
Earlier this week in the news it was announced that some aspects of the lockdown would be relaxed here in Spain which was mainly in the manufacturing area to aid the economy. As we are seeing the health benefits of the lockdown possibly affecting numbers of those infected the spirit of hope is growing that we are closer to the end of this period.
Currently all non-essential flights to and from Spain have been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. On the horizon though there is a glimmer of hope as this week some airlines announced when they expect to resume flights. Jet2, Ryanair and TUI are the airlines that have announced when they will resume flights.
In a statement this week, Jet2 said: “In view of the ongoing uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, we have taken the decision to recommence our flights and holidays programme on June 17.
CEO of Ryanair Michael O’Leary said the airline will return to a normal schedule of commercial flights in June.
TUI has cancelled all trips until May 14 and Marella Cruise holidays until June. However, the dates are subject to change. In a statement, the tour operator said they would “continue to amend and adapt timings in line with the latest global travel advice”. A spokeswoman of for the group added: “We are constantly monitoring the situation and will start taking people on holiday again as soon as we are able to do so.”
These three airlines fly into many of the Spanish airports, so it will be a great day when travel restrictions are lifted and we are free to get to our favourite places once again.
This is all good news and although everyone will need to follow FCO advice on where they can travel and when, the future is looking brighter. Great news in fact for those that already have flights booked. Obviously, all information is subject to change and developments should be noted in the media and on https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/spain/health
In the meantime, inspire yourself with some of the stunning properties we have for sale. We are still open for business as usual.
The world hasn’t seen anything like what is happening with the Corona virus pandemic, or in fact, operations of this scale happen in many of our lifetimes. What is currently occurring around the world in each country is different, and here in Spain we are on at least a 14 day lockdown to help stem the spread of the virus. This got us thinking about some of the positives of a lockdown and more particularly why a lockdown in Spain isn’t so bad.
You may have to stay in apart from going to the shops or the pharmacy, but when you can relax on a balcony or terrace with a fantastic view of the countryside, golf course or Mediterranean, life isn’t so bad. Whether you love the sunshine or not, it is something that lifts your spirits even in the darkest of moments. If you have a private pool, then working, sunbathing and a dip in the pool could be a typical day.
This is a time where people are coming together and helping each other out. It is heart-warming to see more mobile people helping those less fortunate or in one of the high-risk groups. Like Italy, Spain is a very social place and to be isolated will not dampen the spirits of those singing on balconies or doing group exercise whilst socially distancing. If you don’t have a community surrounding you, there will be one online.
Try things you wouldn’t normally
The rise in online choirs has been phenomenal. You may not be able to get out but the sense of being amongst those that share your love of song is a powerful antidote to feeling isolated. If you are a person of routine, now is the perfect time to try something new. Start to learn a new language, do an online course, write letters to old friends or practice yoga.
Eat, drink and be merry
Although you may only be allowed out singularly you can still delight in the wonderful colours and flavours of delicious wines and tapas. Make a real effort in putting together tasty nutritious foods of the region and enjoy the company of whoever you are sharing your isolation with.
This is the perfect time to dream about your future. What plans do you have in place to make the most of your life? Wherever you are in the world, have you dreamt about owning property in Spain? This is the time to paint those pictures. Do you want a property on a golf course so you and your friends can do more of what you love? That villa with a pool you’ve dreamt about, start researching and you’ll find some great deals available on property on our website.
The team here at Bromley Estates hope that you stay safe, stay positive and hopefully everything will return to something close to normality soon. We are still available on the end of the phone, online chat, whatsapp or email, so stay in touch.