British tourists making a quick get away to Spanish holiday resorts have found themselves charged a ‘covid tax’ by bar and restaurant owners.
The unofficially imposed ‘servicio Covid’ is said to help bars and restaurants pay to fit their staff out in PPE.
However the charge, varying from €1 per drink to €1 per round, has come under fire from cash strapped tourists looking to enjoy their usually affordable holiday destination.
Andrew and Deborah Goding, a retired British police officer and business owner in their 50s, now expats in Mallorca, have warned tourists: ‘Just to let all the idiots that are travelling to Spain that they will be hit with a covid tax on each round of drinks they purchase.
British holidaymakers arrive in Majorca yesterday. Planes touched down from Manchester and London carrying a mixture of holidaymakers and expat property owners
Planes full of British holiday makers have arrived at Spanish holiday destinations today with Ryan Air, Wizz air and Easy Jet. Pictured: Holiday makers arrive in Mallorca
Andrew and Deborah Goding, expats in Mallorca
‘That’s if they can find a bar open! And that is the same here in the Balearics! Absolutely ridiculous getting on a plane this year.’
Planes full of British holiday makers have arrived at Spanish holiday destinations today with Ryan Air, Wizz air and Easy Jet flying out from Luton, Gatwick, Newcastle and Manchester.
Spain has now entered the ‘new normal’ phase 4 of its de-escalation plan, which allows travel between regions.
However many bars have remained closed, with Spain’s central government leaving the decision to re-open nightspots like discos down to regional governments.
Magaluf has kept all of its nightclubs shut and party boats in Majorca and Ibiza have been banned – with many bars closing early and last orders moved to 2am instead of 4am.
First British tourists joined the locals enjoying the sea and beaches of Magaluf yesterday
First British tourists on the streets & bars of Magaluf where customers are reportedly being charged a ‘covid tax’
British tourists arriving their Hotels yesterday morning in Magaluf, Majorca
Across Spain 5ft social distancing measures are still in place with face masks mandatory when in in public spaces.
Track and trace also means all shops, businesses and transport companies are obliged to keep passengers’ contact information for up to four weeks for tracking and tracing purposes.
Some bars who have chosen to open have hiked up prices in an effort to make back lost profit and provide staff with PPE.
Mr and Mrs Goding, expats in Mallorca, told the MailOnline: ‘Having just endured one of the harshest lockdowns in Europe I am very concerned.
‘The population of the island has complied. All businesses have been closed. One person per house has been allowed out but only for necessities observing all rules. The rate on the island dropped significantly to almost zero.’
Adding: ‘The behaviour of British in the last few weeks only confirmed my fears. Large gatherings and violence toward police. When they come, they will be faced with police who don’t take any nonsense. We had the army out in our village, this is how seriously it has been taken. On the spot 100 euro fines for not wearing a face mask in public. Public sunbathing and use of beaches limited, again, masks must be worn. All these factors may make a holiday more like a Boot Camp.
A family board Ryanair flight FR2190 to Malaga at London Southend Airport on July 1, 2020 in Southend-on-Sea, England
British tourists head out for a day at the beach yesterday after arriving in Majorca
‘This morning the government are implementing a Covid tax on meals and drinks. This all is assuming you can find a bar or restaurant open. Tourism is needed here, however it does appear that the recent spike in the UK is cause for concern to the Balearics government.
‘A state of lockdown could be introduced at any time, once more stranding tourists abroad. Tourist Covid-19 cases will not be treated here in line with government directions. This means a flight home, if you can get one.
‘My worry is for all my Spanish friends that work and have young families. They have done what they have been told religiously and hoped to be able to work again once the Pandemic was under control. It seems that a second wave is imminent, businesses will be lost and people will suffer. Tourism will not assist the recovery, only hinder it.’
Several bars including Bar 97 in Mijas, near Malaga is now charging an extra 50 cents on every pint since opening, according to The Sun.
Spain has now entered the ‘new normal’ phase 4 of the de-escalation plan, which allows travel between regions
However customers who had recently attended the bar seemed to have no criticism over prices, instead just enjoying the relaxed ambience.
Holiday makers Wendy and Mike wrote in a review: ‘Unlike some other places we have visited, Bar 97 is welcoming but at the same time reassuring in these strange times. This is all done in a very relaxed manner and always with a smile.. .Well done guys for getting it so right!’
Harry, 27, from the north of England, said: ‘Really don’t see a problem with this, the bars need to catch up on profits they’ve lost for months… you’re on holiday for a week, just pay the extra money and enjoy yourself. #covidtax #magaluf.’
Paul Midgaff, who lives in Marbella, Spain, said: ‘I haven’t seen any business applying such a tax here in Marbella, maybe there are isolated cases in Spain.’
Andy and Debs, British expats who retired to Mallorca, have warned tourists: ‘Just to let all the idiots that are travelling to Spain that they will be hit with a covid tax
Harry, 27, from the north of England, said: ‘Really don’t see a problem with this, the bars need to catch up on profits they’ve lost for months’
Paul Griffiths, 59, and wife Heather, 64, from Stretford, Greater Manchester told The Sun that hey were looking forward to ‘drinking lager in the sun’ after arriving for a two-week holiday in Santa Ponsa.
Mr Griffiths said they had been shielding at home due to underlying health conditions which he described as ‘absolutely terrible’.
Mrs Griffiths added: ‘I was so looking forward to our holiday. I can’t wait to sit outside and eat breakfast and to be able to go to the beach and enjoy the sun.’