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Companies involved with the tourism sector are at a standstill during the current lockdown situation throughout the world, but many are still looking to a future when holiday bookings are renewed. Jet2holidays, for example, have begun preparations for a “Back with a Bang” sales campaign in anticipation of what – they told Travel Weekly –… Read more about Jet2 Preparing for “Back with a Bang” Tourism Boost Post-Coronavirus The post Jet2 Preparing for “Back with a Bang”...
Companies involved with the tourism sector are at a standstill during the current lockdown situation throughout the world, but many are still looking to a future when holiday bookings are renewed.
Jet2holidays, for example, have begun preparations for a “Back with a Bang” sales campaign in anticipation of what – they told Travel Weekly – is likely to be a “surge in demand” when the coronavirus pandemic comes to an end.
With the industry predicting “massive pent-up demand” once the crisis is over and it is safe for people to travel, Jet2holidays head of trade sales Alan Cross said travel companies needed to plan now for the predicted bounce-back.
Speaking to Travel Weekly editor-in-chief Lucy Huxley during a video interview, he said, “We are building a campaign called ‘Back with a Bang’. If you don’t do it now, you’ll miss the boat. We are looking at social media and marketing content and at ensuring agents know the product they are selling. When things recover, customers will want that last-minute holiday.” According to Cross, 2021 holidays are already selling “very well”.
Meanwhile, Jet2.com are offering flights and holidays for sale from Birmingham Airport for summer 2021, including to Corvera Murcia Airport.
“The huge summer programme means over 2.2 million seats have gone on sale from Birmingham Airport – a capacity increase of six per cent compared with summer 2020. The expanded programme means that we are offering customers more choice and flexibility than ever before when it comes to reaching their favourite summer hotspots (such as Spain).
“With multiple weekly, daily and even multiple daily flights to many of these destinations, holidaymakers can enjoy complete flexibility over how long they holiday for – a move we pioneered 10 years ago so that customers can choose ATOL-protected holidays of any duration to suit their budgets and needs.”
Latest advice from Aena, the state airport authority that has jurisdiction over Corvera Murcia Airport, concerning the COVID-19 health crisis and its effect on services, notes…
“REMEMBER: Travel is not allowed except for reasons that cannot be postponed. If this is your case, check the status and terminal for your flight with your airline before flying, do not go to the airport more than 90 minutes in advance, avoid crowds, and maintain a safety distance of one metre with anyone.”
Click here for up-to-date flight information.
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Many residents and visitors currently in lockdown mode throughout the Murcia region will be thinking ahead, to when they can once again enjoy the region’s attractions – including its venerable history. Before the quarantine restrictions were decreed last month (and subsequently expanded until midnight 11 April), tourism authorities had launched an initiative “combining the appeal… Read more about Costa Cálida Showcases Historical Attractions Using Modern Technology The post Costa...
Many residents and visitors currently in lockdown mode throughout the Murcia region will be thinking ahead, to when they can once again enjoy the region’s attractions – including its venerable history.
Before the quarantine restrictions were decreed last month (and subsequently expanded until midnight 11 April), tourism authorities had launched an initiative “combining the appeal of the past with the modern technology of the future to bring some of its most famous attractions to life”.
Welcoming more than two million visitors in 2019, the Museum of the Roman Theatre in Cartagena, for example, is home to artefacts excavated from the 2,000-year-old Roman theatre.
A 21st century aspect is added to the museum by the use of virtual reality headsets at various points within the monument to display a 3D recreation of how it looked at the time it was in use. There are also virtual “flights” through the site, virtual guided tours, and a short excerpt from the type of play which would have provided entertainment for the people of that era.
According to a press release from Turística Murcia, “The city itself is a living monument to a bygone era and is renowned for its archaeological sites, with many Phoenician, Roman, Byzantine and Moorish ruins remaining.”
Its Port of Cultures project is designed to make the city’s historical and cultural sights more accessible for tourists – highlighted by a panoramic elevator that connects the port with Concepción Castle.
Another city in the region with a rich history is Lorca. The impressive mediaeval castle, where Muslims, Christians and Jews cohabitated for centuries, is the focal point, able to be viewed from a far-off distance, while other attractions include many free-to-enter museums, squares, palaces, notable buildings and churches.
Within the castle’s grounds, the meticulously preserved Archaeological Park of the Castle and Synagogue is also a must-visit attraction.
Overall, the region’s strategic location as a Mediterranean enclave has enabled it to retain many significant historical links. These comprise a fascinating mix of culture and history including rock-paintings in cave-shelters dating to the Iberian period; Arab medinas; Christian castles, watch-towers, churches and temples; and numerous civil and military buildings.
For more information about other attractions in the Murcia region, click here.
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Residents and visitors throughout the Murcia region are being asked to turn off their lights for one hour on Saturday night (28 March) to mark Earth Day. Events are being held throughout Spain for the annual initiative, known in Spain as “Hora del Planeta” and coinciding this year with a month-long nationwide lockdown decreed in… Read more about Murcia Joins Lights Out Initiative for Earth Hour The post Murcia Joins Lights Out Initiative for Earth Hour appeared first on Corvera...
Residents and visitors throughout the Murcia region are being asked to turn off their lights for one hour on Saturday night (28 March) to mark Earth Day.
Events are being held throughout Spain for the annual initiative, known in Spain as “Hora del Planeta” and coinciding this year with a month-long nationwide lockdown decreed in response to another natural crisis affecting people around the globe: the coronavirus pandemic.
With that in mind, the global organising team is advising communities to celebrate Earth Hour digitally this year, and follow national health guidelines on attending and hosting public events. “Whichever way you, your community, your family or your friends choose to celebrate Earth Hour this year, we can still raise our collective voices to secure a ‘New Deal for Nature and People’, even if this year we are doing it from the safety of our homes.
“Some of the countries celebrating Earth Hour digitally are in fact hosting virtual events as exciting and ambitious as our physical events.”
Jumilla is just one of several municipalities in Murcia (including the capital city), and hundreds of Spanish town halls, taking part in the campaign. The town hall plans to switch off lighting at its 15th century castle from 8.30pm to 9.30pm (Spanish time), and has encouraged people to do the same in their homes, and send messages on torches from their terraces and windows with the following message in Morse code…
“Apaga la luz todo irá bien” (“Turn off the light, all will go well”)
.- .–. .- –. .- / .-.. .- / .-.. ..- –.. / – — -.. — / .. .-. / -€ .. . -. .-.-.
Organised by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Earth Hour is described on its official website as a global grassroots movement aimed at “uniting people to take action on environmental issues and protect the planet”.
It was started as a lights out event in Sydney (Australia) on 31 March 2007, when more than 2.2 million individuals and 2,000 businesses turned their lights out for one hour.
Since then, it has grown to engage millions of supporters in more than 185 countries and territories, “inspiring individuals and organisations worldwide to take action for the environment, and driving major legislative changes by harnessing the power of the crowd. As the movement grows, the one-hour lights out event continues to be the symbol of a broader commitment toward nature and our planet.”
WWF projects and individual actions as part of the Earth Hour movement continue throughout the year, while the annual Earth Hour lights out event is held worldwide towards the end of March to encourage individuals, households, communities and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights for one hour as a symbol of their commitment to the planet.
“Our objective is for people to take action beyond the hour, whether it is supporting a local WWF project or getting involved in Earth Hour campaigns in their own country, or starting the movement in their own community. The vision is always to do more, so make the light switch the beginning of your journey.”
Referring to concerns about the coronavirus outbreak, the organisers said, “The well-being and health of our supporters and staff is our top priority. Many countries are currently facing a health crisis with the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). We are deeply saddened by the loss of lives from this outbreak and our thoughts are with the families who have lost loved ones or who are sick. Given the unprecedented circumstances, the Earth Hour global organising team is advising that Earth Hour is celebrated digitally this year but countries should decide what to do for the best in line with national guidelines.”
Outlined here are several ways people can take part online or at home, and ideas for communities to show support. “If you do decide to continue with an on-the-ground Earth Hour event, please closely follow national health guidelines on hosting large public events and make a decision based on the advice provided by your country’s ministry of health.
“Wherever you are, you can help make this year’s Earth Hour bigger than ever by speaking up for nature loss and and showing your support online by adding your Voice for the Planet.”
Only one flight was scheduled for Corvera Murcia Airport today (Saturday) – TUI fly arriving from Antwerp at 9.30am and returning to Belgium at 10.25. Other than that, all flights have been cancelled, as airports in the Aena network enforce government restrictions – including a lockdown throughout Spain – aimed at curbing the spread of… Read more about British Embassy Updates Advice… as Corvera Airport Remains Open but Almost Deserted The post British Embassy Updates Advice… as...
Only one flight was scheduled for Corvera Murcia Airport today (Saturday) – TUI fly arriving from Antwerp at 9.30am and returning to Belgium at 10.25. Other than that, all flights have been cancelled, as airports in the Aena network enforce government restrictions – including a lockdown throughout Spain – aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus COBID-19.
According to local newspaper reports, apart from the occasional disorientated tourist, the only people at the terminal this weekend (following TUI fly’s departure) are airport staff, although they say they don’t know if they will be required to maintain the airport operative next week. “The situation changes every minute, because the airlines are constantly modifying their plans,” one source told La Verdad. Ryanair, EasyJet and Binter have all ceased services, while Norwegian’s summer schedule is on hold.
Aena’s official health alert (for the whole of Spain) advises that “travelling is not allowed except for reasons that cannot be postponed. If this is your case, remember to check with your airline always before flying and follow these measures when you arrive at the airport.”
Meanwhile, the British Embassy in Madrid has published a new video from ambassador Hugh Elliott, aimed at British tourists in Spain, as well as a Q&A on Facebook addressing some of the most frequently asked questions. Latest travel advice is available here.
The travel advice is updated regularly, and travellers are invited to sign up for email alerts, “so you are notified when we add new information. You may also want to join our Brits in Spain Facebook page, where we post updates regularly, and where you can find a community that can also help answer specific questions. The situation is fast moving and many people have had their travel plans and holidays disrupted.”
The Q&A covers a comprehensive range of queries. Here is a summary…
Are hotels closing?
Yes, the Spanish government has confirmed that hotel and short-term accommodation must close by midnight 26 March. Our current advice is that British travellers who wish to return to the UK should make plans to do so as soon as possible.
The Spanish authorities may ask British travellers to move hotels, as guests are being grouped into smaller numbers of hotels, but the Spanish tourism authorities have underlined that no-one will be left without accommodation.
Can’t get through to airline?
Airlines and ferry companies are experiencing a high volume of calls. Check their websites for latest information or other flight comparison websites for further information to arrange travel back to the UK. You may need to be flexible about your destination airport in the UK and your preferred date/time of travel.
Can’t afford flight back?
In very exceptional circumstances, and as a last resort, the FCO may be able to provide an emergency loan from public funds to help you return home. This is discretionary and will only be considered if you have exhausted all other methods of getting funds.
Will you repatriate people back from Spain?
Assisted departure will only be offered in the most exceptional circumstances. There remain commercial options for British tourists to return from Spain. British tourists in Spain should speak to their travel provider and follow the guidance of local authorities.
Do the emergency measures apply to British travellers on holiday in Spain?
Yes, they do. British travellers should follow the instructions of the local authorities. Anyone found to be breaching these instructions may be subject to action by the local authorities, including fines and possible arrest.
Can I drive to the airport?
The emergency measures restrict travel within Spain, but travel to the airport to return to the UK is an accepted reason. You may need to provide evidence of your journey (i.e. plane ticket). Friends or family can also drive you to the airport, but should keep evidence of the reason (e.g. a photo of travel tickets in case they are stopped on the return home) and comply with police restrictions on travel.
I have a house in Spain. Can I stay in it or do I have to go back to the UK?
If you are resident here for all or part of the year, rather than just visiting as a short-stay tourist, you can stay if you wish and your residential circumstances allow you to abide by the local instructions (e.g. cater for yourself, etc).
Can I drive back through France?
Spain is not restricting land border crossings from Spain to France. To drive back through France, the French authorities require that you fill in a declaration to explain your reason for travel; you should also have evidence of your onward travel plan (i.e. ferry/rail ticket).
Healthcare and EHIC use in Spain…
If you are temporarily in Spain and you need to see the doctor, be reassured that the UK EHIC is still valid for the rest of 2020 and will cover you for any necessary treatment. Due to the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak, you must follow the advice of local authorities, and comply with self-isolation, testing or quarantine requirements.
Health advice on returning to the UK?
Look at the Public Health England guidance on gov.uk. We no longer have geographical limits to who gets tested and who we ask to self-isolate – this will just be based on symptoms and it is no longer relevant where someone has travelled from. Anyone who has any of the symptoms should use the 111 online coronavirus service to find out what to do next and not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital
Our priority is to provide assistance to those British nationals overseas that need our help the most. For example, that might include those who are elderly, or those with physical or mental health complications. If you consider that you, or your relatives, are particularly vulnerable and require assistance, contact your local British consulate for support.
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The 15-day “State of Alarm” decreed by the Spanish government on the weekend makes it clear that people should stay at home except for absolutely essential circumstances. These include going out to buy food, pharmaceutical products or petrol, receiving medical attention, visiting ill or vulnerable family members, and – if “remote working” is not a… Read more about Spanish Lockdown… What the “State of Alarm” Means for Travellers The post Spanish Lockdown… What the...
The 15-day “State of Alarm” decreed by the Spanish government on the weekend makes it clear that people should stay at home except for absolutely essential circumstances.
These include going out to buy food, pharmaceutical products or petrol, receiving medical attention, visiting ill or vulnerable family members, and – if “remote working” is not a valid option – going to work.
Those who have to leave home are advised to avoid public transport if possible and, walk or drive alone (unless assisting someone with mobility issues), while being careful to maintain a one-metre distance from other people.
Police will be posted in strategic locations to ensure these “confinamiento” (lockdown) restrictions are enforced. Anyone disobeying or resisting police officers’ instructions can face penalties of between €100 and one year in prison.
As for air travel, many services to and from Spanish airports such as Corvera Murcia have been drastically reduced, although operations have not been completely suspended.
For UK travellers, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has updated its official travel advice to recommend “against all but essential travel to Spain” (see below).
After a marathon seven-hour cabinet meeting, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez addressed the nation on Saturday night to outline the conditions and implications of the lockdown.
A “State of Alarm” (also translated as “State of Alert”) has only been decreed on one other occasion since Spain returned to constitutional democracy in 1978: in 2010, after air-traffic controllers called a strike that caused widespread travel chaos.
Also on this occasion, restrictions have been imposed under Article 116 of the Spanish Constitution, which covers three legal categories for emergency situations: “State of Alarm”, “State of Emergency” and “State of Siege” (“Estado de Alarma”, “Estado de Excepción” and “Estado de Sitio”, respectively).
The lowest level of these categories, “Estado de Alarma”, was approved by the Cabinet, to last for 15 days from Sunday 15 March before it would need to be extended by parliamentary approval.
“As you know,” said Sánchez (whose wife Begoña Gómez has tested positive for COVID-19, as well as two cabinet ministers and other political leaders), “Spain is facing a public health emergency that requires extraordinary decisions. This is a global pandemic that is damaging for citizens as a whole.”
He said all of Spain’s police forces would be under the direct orders of the interior ministry, and the government would also have the armed forces at its disposal.
Travel across Spain was restricted from Saturday night, and most retail activity has been suspended, with people only permitted to leave their homes for such crucial necessities as food purchases, pharmacies, health centres, banks and petrol stations, as well as going to work if required or returning to their primary residence.
Within the education system, classes are suspended at all levels, including universities, although online education activities are being maintained.
Citizens’ physical presence in commercial outlets should be limited to what is strictly necessary, large crowds must be avoided, and customers and employees are required to maintain a one-metre distance to help reduce the risk of contagion.
Bars and restaurants are only allowed to make home deliveries, and all museums, galleries and other cultural venues, plus sports clubs and amenities, are obliged to remain closed.
Sánchez also stressed that the national health ministry would have the power to ensure the correct functioning of food production centres and distribution chains, even to the extent of accompanying transport vehicles and prioritising customs procedures for essential products.
Transport services, both public and private, will be reduced to at least half during the 15-day period, apart from local rail networks (“Cercanías”). Passenger transport vehicles will be subject to daily cleansing procedures as stipulated by the health ministry.
The prime minister concluded by calling on people to help the most vulnerable in society, especially the elderly, and thanked all those making a valuable contribution to fighting the virus, including health staff, police, the armed forces and scientific researchers.
In its latest official statement on Spain and the country’s measures to combat the coronavirus outbreak, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office reported, “We keep our travel advice under constant review and recommend that British nationals sign up for alerts, so they know when it has been updated.
“Anyone with upcoming journeys planned should check with their airlines and tour operators for the latest information. Wherever you are in Spain, you should follow the instructions of the local authorities.”
British Ambassador to Spain Hugh Elliott recorded a video message for UK nationals explaining the implications for both residents and tourists. He also thanked the Spanish authorities, “in particular the healthcare professionals, for all the great work they are doing to help keep everyone in Spain – of all nationalities – safe, in circumstances that are very challenging indeed.”
Travel advice: Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO)
Returning from overseas: UK Department of Health and Social Care
Spanish government information: Ministry of Health
Flight information: Corvera Murcia Airport
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Murcia’s regional government has ordered all non-essential commercial outlets and other public facilities to close as concern grows about the spread of COVID-19 outside the main affected areas in Madrid. Jet2.com, one of the main airline operators at Corvera Murcia Airport, has also announced the cancellation of all flights to Spain, with immediate effect (see… Read more about Regional-Wide Lockdown of Murcia to Control Spread of Coronavirus The post Regional-Wide Lockdown of Murcia to...
Murcia’s regional government has ordered all non-essential commercial outlets and other public facilities to close as concern grows about the spread of COVID-19 outside the main affected areas in Madrid.
Jet2.com, one of the main airline operators at Corvera Murcia Airport, has also announced the cancellation of all flights to Spain, with immediate effect (see below); while the Spanish national government has declared a 15-day “State of Alarm” (also translated as “State of Alert”) from Sunday 15 March.
In Murcia, initially the government focused its attention on the coastal areas, concerned about an influx of people travelling from Madrid with their families, following the decision to close schools and other educational institutions in the capital city.
Now, however, regional president Fernando López Miras has announced an extension of “quarantine” regulations and warnings to cover the whole region, expressing his disappointment that residents were not paying attention to advice and guidance from health authorities.
Murcia thus joined Madrid, Galicia, Asturias and Cantabria with, effectively, a complete lockdown within their borders, apart from essential services.
Miras said the lockdown would last for 14 days, throughout the region, but would not include pharmacies, supermarkets, petrol stations, “estancos” (tobacconists) and street kiosks.
Many establishments – restaurants, commercial centres, cinemas, leisure and sport centres, and showrooms – had already decided to close their doors, as the effects of the hashtag #YoMeQuedoEnCasa (#I’mStayingHome) campaign, encouraging people not to go out unless absolutely necessary, took hold throughout Spain.
In the government’s official press statement, Miras said, “From the first moment we have appealed to everyone’s responsibility, common sense and collaboration”. However, he added, he was forced to make the decision to extend the bans after the mayors of coastal municipalities quarantined since Friday afternoon conveyed their “concern at the population’s lack of community awareness”.
During a press conference on Saturday morning, the regional minister for health, Manuel Villegas, said the number of people affected by the COVID-19 coronavirus had risen to 51, with 12 admitted to hospital including two in intensive care.
“We cannot let our guard down… by staying at home we are saving lives. It’s a real fight of titans.” Villegas called on people to remain calm when buying food. “We are going to get out of this situation, and we will come out together, but for this we need the whole society to be involved.
“People can leave their homes, but they must keep the usual distances. Confinement for municipalities on the coast; social isolation for the rest.”
As for people who had travelled from Madrid, the health minister said it “must be considered that they have all had close contact” with someone infected, although he stressed, “there is no problem right now at any healthcare centre in the Murcia region”.
Thirty-five operators are taking calls on the special coronavirus telephone hotline: 900 12 12 12.
The official statement by Jet.com explained, “In response to local measures introduced throughout Spain to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including the closure of bars, restaurants, shops and activities including any water sports, we have taken the decision to cancel all flights to mainland Spain, the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands with immediate effect. We know these local measures will have a significant impact on our customers’ holidays, which is why we have taken this decision.
“We are contacting our customers who are currently in these destinations, and who are due to travel, to advise them of their options, so we urge customers not to call us.
“This is a fast-moving and complex situation and we are reviewing our program as a matter of urgency, so that we can fly customers back to the UK.
“The health and safety of our customers is our number one priority, and we would like to thank our customers for their understanding.”
For up-to-date flight information at Corvera Murcia Airport, click here.
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