There is some understandable concern about the spread of the new coronavirus, called Covid-19. Our medical advisor, Dr Marcus Stephan, answers some common questions.
Is the Costa del Sol affected?
Like most parts of the world there have been cases reported here, that is nothing unusual. Spain has taken measures to reduce the spread and the impact of the virus. Various public health measures are now in place.
If you are a UK national you will have to quarantine on your return to the UK, if you have a holiday booked with us and you have any concerns please do get in touch.
Is it safe to visit?
Currently there are some restrictions in place, and as the situation evolves you can expect more changes. If you are staying in one of our properties at the moment on an 'over-winter' stay please get in touch with us. If you are on holiday and you are a UK national you will have to quarantine on return. Please contact us if you have any concerns. You can find a list of local consular offices here.
Do I have to wear a mask?
In Spain it is now LAW to wear a face mask/face covering when in an enclosed space, such as a shop or when using public transport. In addition if you are outside you must also now wear a mask. Please do remember that in Spain these rules are compulsory and are backed up by fines.
The evidence from the World Health Organisation clearly says that use of masks by people who are healthy in open spaces makes no difference to the spread of Covid-19. There is no danger to you from walking in the open air, the virus is not freely floating around and so the air you breath is as safe as it always has been. However the law in Spain currently requires you to wear a mask at all times.
The best thing you can do is make sure you wash your hands regularly and also try to stop touching your face - which is much harder than most people realise as we do it all day long without thinking.
What is meant by 'social isolation, or social distancing'?
'Social distancing' is the only proven way to restrict the spread of this virus. We know this virus is spread by droplets and aerosol from one person to another. If you have to go out, stay at least 2m (6 feet) away from any other person. However as more of the population is vaccinated then it is likely that the requirement for social distancing can be reduced.
What is the difference between Quarantine and Stay at Home orders?
This really is VERY important. If we have been ordered to stay at home and only make essential trips to buy food etc. this is because this stops people coming into contact with one another. In other words it makes it much harder for the virus to spear from one person to another, and hopefully this will slow the spread globally. Leaving your home for non-essential reasons could result in a fine.
Quarantine is a DIFFERENT form of behaviour. If you develop symptoms such as a new, and persistent dry cough, or have a fever, or both, then you MUST quarantine yourself. If you live alone you MUST stay in your home - you CANNOT go out even to buy food. Someone must bring that to you. If you share your home you must stay in a separate room from anyone else. This is because you are probably infectious and therefore present a real risk to anyone who comes into contact with you. If you are a BonaSOL guest get in touch with us immediately and we will make all the necessary arrangements for you.
Are swimming pools safe?
On the whole, being outdoors is the best thing you can do. Lots of fresh air helps so a day at the beach or by the pool is a good thing. Chlorinated water does not allow the virus to remain potent.
What about getting there, for example flying?
The WHO have published extensive reports to show that flying it not considered to be a risk, the air in cabins is changed frequently. The most important thing is that everyone practices simple hygienic behaviour - sneezing or coughing into a tissue for example. Currently you are required to wear a face mask whilst inside an aircraft.
Are your apartments safe?
Unlike some accommodation, if you chose an apartment or a villa you are far less likely to be squashed in with lots of other people. We professionally sanitise our kitchens and bathrooms after every visit.
During this difficult time it is very good advice to regularly clean things like door handles, drawer fronts, steering wheels and light switches with a good spray disinfectant. Anything people regularly touch in your home should be sanitised this way.
Where can I get tested in Spain?
If you require a negative test before you leave Spain we can provide you with details of various test centres, remember most countries insist on a test taken within 72hrs, so bear this in mind as many test centres do not operate at weekends.
What about travel insurance?
Generally, travel insurance will not cover you if you decide to cancel your plans. Cover like that is difficult to obtain, however if government agencies say that travel to a particular region should not be undertaken then generally policies will cover you for cancellation. If you are already in Spain and your government changes it's advice then please contact us immediately for further advice and assistance.
Where can I get more information?
It is important that we all stay up-to-date. This virus is new and we are learning about it all the time. It is possible that advice might change, as we get to understand more. What is very important however, is that we rely on reputable sources for information. The WHO (World Health Organisation) for example is non-political and just publishes advice based on science. Generally government websites also provide unbiased information. Ty to avoid getting this vital information from sites like Facebook groups, often advice may be misleading and can cause unnecessary anxiety.
The three 'C's
Personally, I am a fan of remembering the three C's - Crowds, Close contact, Confined spaces - these are the things that represent the most risk when it comes to spreading Covid-19. So outside in the fresh air really presents no risk, squashed inside a small space with poor ventilation is not such a good idea. So keep the three C's in mind and you will stay safe.
During lockdowns what is BonaSOL doing to help?
BonaSOL has a range of business continuity plans to ensure we can operate when things are difficult. Our priority always is the health and welfare of our guests, to that end we have a special support service that has been activated. With official permission, we are able to conduct health and welfare visits to ensure all our guests who are experiencing periods of enforced isolation have everything they need, we are also available 24hrs to assist in any way necessary.
All of us are facing uncertain times, and the continual news feeds whilst providing helpful information can add to a sense of overwhelming unease. We do not normally promote video that we come across on social media, however this film has quickly become viral in the media sense that it has spread rapidly around the globe.
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