Spain endured one of the toughest lockdowns in Europe, which Lauren points out was challenging for the majority of those in the country.
However, amid the strict rules, there were some little things that, once they were allowed, made the lockdown “bearable”.
“The initial lockdown was very tough here,” she admitted.
“We weren’t even permitted to go out for a walk, but it made it much more bearable to be able to see the sun, the beach and the blue skies.”
As for most people, being apart from family was difficult, but it was technology that helped Lauren to stay connected with friends and family back home.
“I think our difficulties through the pandemic have been the being so far apart from family and friends,” she said.
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“This has been the longest we’ve been apart from family and friends, which has been the most challenging part for us.
“We’re very heavily reliant on the power of technology and FaceTime at the moment.
With both friends and family, we tend to FaceTime rather than call as it’s nice to see their faces.
“Sometimes, I’ll FaceTime my mum even whilst she’s getting on with the household chores just to chat and be involved.”
However, it wasn’t just loved ones back in England who Lauren was able to connect with virtually.
One of Benidorm’s greatest draws for the expat is its “sense of community” and this was something that was maintained, even despite the stay at home order.
“We also ‘see my family’ at Asa Elliott’s and Pablo Bloom’s, who are two known Benidorm singers, weekly online concerts.”
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, has said she thinks Spain will be able to open up to tourists again in May.
She estimates that 40 percent of the population will have received the vaccine by then.
According to Lauren, many businesses are already keen for things to reopen, despite some “caution”.
She explained: “Although there are a few people steering on the edge of caution, the majority of business owners are desperate for tourism and the good times to return.
“When Benidorm is normal, it’s a goldmine for businesses.”
“The vaccination programme is on schedule and although Spain is currently looking at encouraging national tourism just after Easter, they and many of us, are remaining hopeful that international tourism will be able to resume in summer,” Lauren said.
“The hospitality has reopened in Benidorm, for the terraces only, at 75 percent with a maximum of four people and a forced closure of 6pm.
“The non-essential shops have been able to extend their opening hours now until 8pm.”
However, she admits some of the ongoing precautions might be a cause of concern for visitors hoping to jet off to the resort.
“There’s lots of people cautious about returning to Spain, due to masks being compulsory at all times in public spaces, including outdoors,” she said.
“Many of us are hoping that it won’t be much longer that we’re required to wear masks outdoors.”
- ^ Covid (www.express.co.uk)
- ^ travel (www.express.co.uk)
- ^ Spanish (www.express.co.uk)
- ^ Pound saw ‘worst day of the year’ yesterday after enjoying huge boost (www.express.co.uk)
- ^ Croatia holidays: New rules detail what tourists will need to travel (www.express.co.uk)
- ^ Passport nightmare as holidaymakers warned of 10 week wait (www.express.co.uk)
- ^ here (diaryofaspanglishgirl.com)