COVID crisis increases repatriation of British families
COVID crisis increases repatriation of British families - Leaving behind what has been your home for many years is a sad situation that more and more families not just here in Benidorm but all over Spain are finding themselves in, its even sadder when children are involved. Some families will be leaving Spain for a while hoping to return in the future.
The economic crisis caused by the Covid pandemic has increased the repatriations of Britons to their country because they have simply run out of resources to continue living here.
Not only have repatriations grown, so has food bank management, with Benidorm´s local food bank serving some 30 families trying to help with fresh or perishable food but also with clothing or other needs. Many people have run out of resources because their financial aid has run out or because they weren't entitled to any aid due to having no legal work contracts. Many jobs are dedicated to British tourism in Benidorm and it has suffered more than most towns in Spain.
The British consulate and BBBA (Benidorm’s British Businesses Association) on average are helping to process five repatriations each week and this number will sadly continue to rise as more and more struggle financially.
One such family a waitress and her partner who was a chef have seen their livelihoods destroyed as the pandemic left the once-bustling Spanish resort a ghost town. the family have been relying on hand outs from the local food bank and even need money so they can drive their daughter the eight miles from home to school and they are being fed thanks to the food bank.
They state “We’ve been legal residents here for years, worked hard and paid our taxes. Now we’re one step away from living on the streets. The family are due to be evicted from their apartment in a few weeks time due to rent arrears. They can see no other way out of the situation other than to return to their country or origin.
The family are now trying to sell their belongings and furniture so that they can leave with cash with which to survive the first days back in the UK.
Hopes of tourism returning to Benidorm have come too late for many, whose dream of a life in the sun is sadly over.
It is not only employees who are effected. Many business owners are also facing similar problems, trying to maintain rent, electricity and suma (similar to rates in the UK) payments with little or no income. Ourselves at Benidorm Seriously can confirm this. We still have to pay these bills even though our office has remained closed for over one year. During that time we have received virtually no assistance from the government, even though we have been spending our time trying to continue to keep tourists informed of the current situation here in Benidorm.
If you find your self in the position above and need help and advice contact the British Consulate. The British Consulate in Alicante represents the UK government in Alicante and Murcia regions of Spain.
If you’re in the communities of Valencia or Murcia you can contact them online. If you need urgent help call +34 965 21 60 22
Read some of our members experiences of moving to Spain HERE