Spanish tourists, no matter where you’re from, please take note. Benidorm beaches are now by reservation.
From Monday, when the beaches reopen under the government’s coronavirus deescalation plan, people will have to log on to a webpage for a chance to occupy one of the 5,122 four-by-four-meter spaces on the Valencian shoreline, which are meant for a maximum of four people.El País, “Benidorm’s world-famous beaches reopen by appointment only,” 14 June 2020.
Benidorm is down the Mediterranean coast from Valencia, almost to Alicante. Don’t worry if you lose your mobile device on the way. There are offices set up to take reservations, too. In the Kafka-esque world of Spanish bureaucracy, it should be a snap to reserve your little paradiso en la playa compared to renting an apartment and obtaining an empadroniamento.
I’m not sure where the tourists are coming from to fill Benidorm’s 5,122 sunbathing plots, but IATA provides help navigating Covid-19 travel restrictions to get here.
Click on any country on the IATA interactive world map to find travel restrictions for your desired destination. That will tell you what restrictions apply at the time you click, although not in a week or two when you might want to travel.
Some of Spain’s tourists will come from Germany, no doubt. In fact, 189 Germans flew to Mallorca yesterday in a pilot of Spain’s Covid-19 screening program.
The UK is another typical source of tourists. The situation for English tourists is a bit fluid. At first the UK was included in the EU countries that could begin traveling to Spain on 21 June without quarantine. Then the UK said, wait a minute, anyone coming to the UK still must self-isolate for fourteen days. Okay, hold the phone. “Spain’s foreign affairs minister then said the country may impose a two-week quarantine on Britons, if the UK maintains its current travel rules.” I’ll have to get back to you on this one.
Should Spain worry with all the tourists who will theoretically show up next week? Well, yes.
Margarita del Val, a Spanish virologist and immunologist, says that Covid-19 is circulating at a higher level now than before Spain’s State of Alarm. She says that a second wave is possible, but we know more now about how to live with Covid-19. What should people do to stop a second wave?
“[Wear] a face mask. At first they were being recommended in Asia, but we didn’t believe it because they didn’t back it up with data. We have had a somewhat cavalier attitude towards anything coming out of Asia, and I think this has been a lesson in humility. As a hyper-skeptical scientist myself, I had my own doubts due to the lack of data. Stopping a wave requires several measures: closing schools, confinement, masks, limited access to parks. Just one doesn’t work. We still don’t know which one is the most important. We know the problem is the accumulated air, it’s not enough for an infected person to simply walk by you.”Margarita del Val, virologist and immunologist, El País, “Spanish Covid-19 expert: ‘There is more virus circulating now than before the state of alarm’,” 16 June 2020.
Parenthetically, like the Spanish government, the US CDC also didn’t recommend masks until recently. Different from del Val, Dr. Fauci said the CDC didn’t recommend masks because it knew there weren’t enough masks to meet even the needs of healthcare workers.
Airlines need tourists to stay in business and know the future of tourism depends on safety. How bad is airline business? It’s bad enough that Docusign is replacing United in the NASDAQ 100 index.
On the travel safety front, United is upgrading is mask policy from coach to first class. United passengers who fail to wear a mask will be banned from future flights. I like this idea.
Also on the travel safety front, Spain is screening tourists by checking for temperatures. There’s more evidence from California testing that many Covid-19 cases don’t present with a fever. Only 12% of those who tested positive reported having a fever over 100F. Loss of smell has a much better correlation with a positive Covid-19 test than fever.
Last note on Covid-19 and travel. There are still 40,000 stranded cruise ship workers.
A few science tidbits.
In a very small, non-reviewed study, low dose radiation therapy resolved several severe Covid-19 cases in elderly patients.
The first Covid-19 vaccines may not prevent you from getting Covid-19. They may be rushed to market because they’re better than nothing and, more likely, so that Trump can claim there is a Covid-19 vaccine before the November election.
The FDA formally withdrew its Emergency Use Authorization for hydroxychloroquine. This creates a credibility problem for the US government as it issues EUAs for Covid-19 vaccinations.
In Chicago, a female Covid-19 patient in her twenties underwent a double lung transplant after the virus damaged her lungs.
I’m ending today with a bubble concert from The Flaming Lips. This may be the future of safe concerts until there is a Covid-19 vaccine.
The band performed their song for a crowd of people watching from their own individual bubbles, and frontman Wayne Coyne and his bandmates each had their own bubbles on stage — with the exception of two drummers, who shared one giant dome and wore face masks during the performance.Decider, “The Flaming Lips Use Giant Bubbles to Keep Crowd Safe During ‘The Late Show’ Concert‘,” 11 June 2020.
I’ll let you decide whether bubble concerts are our future.