There is some understandable concern about the spread of the new coronavirus, called Covid-19. Our medical advisor 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 closed its borders to non-nationals and non-residents until further notice, to help restrict the global spread.

Is it safe to visit?

Currently there are severe travel restrictions in place and most businesses have been closed to prevent people gathering in large numbers. If you are here currently please get in touch with us for details about our special support service.

Do I have to wear a mask?

Generally the use of masks, like you see many people wearing, are not much help. They are necessary if you are looking after someone who is unwell. 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. The use of gloves is highly recommended however.

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. You do not need to wear a mask in the open.

What is meant by 'social isolation, or social distancing'?

In the absence of a vaccine '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. This is not always easy, but until any preventative measures are available it really is essential.

What is the difference between Quarantine and Stay at Home orders?

This really is VERY important. We have all been ordered to stay at home and only make essential trips to buy food etc. 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. However local restrictions now prevent you being outside without justification.

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.

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.

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. Policies will cover you if you are taken ill.

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.

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.

Information from the UK government is available here