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Our man Steve stuck in Spain

 
Created on 16/03/2020 @ 14:11
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MyNewtown's motoring correspondent Steve Rogers is one of thousands of British tourists trapped in Corona virus torn Spain.

Steve, and his wife, Jean, are spending three months in Roquetas de Mar in Spain's south eastern province of Almeria and are not due to return to the UK until the end of April.

He has just sent MyNewtown this update.

As I write Jean is trying to get through to Consular sites for information about driving through Spain. We want to make a dash for home but don't know yet if we can leave here, let alone get through the French border 550 miles away.

Saturday's stringent Lock Down decision by the Madrid government seems to have caught out everyone, not just the tourists. From Sunday we were effectively under 'house arrest' able only to go a food shop or pharmacy.

We understand only essential transport is allowed on the roads but there are conflicting reports that cars with foreign plates heading for home will be allowed to continue the journey.

Our dilemma is leaving the relative comfort and safety of our apartment, driving through Spain but then getting turned back at the French border. Hopefully that situation will become clearer this afternoon although Jean's efforts so far with the Consular offices in Alicante, Madrid and Malaga have drawn a blank.

Contact with a person is impossible and voicemail boxes are full so we are just trying to come up with alternative solutions.

Maybe we should have anticipated such drastic measures given the fact that the Spanish government seems to have buried its head in the sand while the rest of the world reacts but hindsight is a wonderful thing.

We have friends whose flight home from Malaga was cancelled as a result of the lockdown but they have managed to get places on a rescue flight on Thursday. The situation for people who have driven is clearly more complicated and stressful.

Even though this is a lovely warm area with more than 300 days of sun the majority of visitors from November to May are from the UK, Germany and the Netherlands so it is relatively quiet with many hotels still closed but even so when we went out briefly yesterday it seemed the World had come to an end. Everywhere was deserted.

We have just heard France will lock down from Wednesday so the decision has been made. We are making a run for it.

Picture caption: Breakfast on the patio before making a dash across Spain.

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