Former Huddersfield gymnast and pub landlord Brian Hayhurst and his wife Elaine are ex-pats who have lived just outside Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol for 20 years. Here’s Brian’s latest thoughts from sunny Spain!

The latest bulletin scheduling Covid restrictions here in Spain said that everything stays the same, except for seating at tables – outdoors can have six people, not four.

Bars, restaurants, hotels and associated businesses were anticipating an extension for openings until 9.30pm – but no way. In fact the government have indicated that Semana Santa (holy week leading up to Easter) – one of the biggest celebrations over here – will just not happen despite ever decreasing infections.

At least hostelries are open, and we are grateful for that. We must say that those restaurants and beach bars that are operating are pulling in sizeable numbers with live music and occasional charity events, albeit early doors.

Elaine and I are most fortunate to have lots of friends – several from Huddersfield, here on the sunny Costa. And from time to time we get to meet other rather special people.

One such gentleman is Bill Anderson who we met at his book signing this week. Bill, a true Scot from Edinburgh, has lived here for decades and is the first ever non-Spaniard to be elected onto a local council.

He made some interesting comments to our group:-

  • “My son lives in Tokyo amid a population of over 37 million people where very few people wear masks yet there are so very few cases of the virus.”
  • “A case here in Spain has been won in court when a couple, walking in the open countryside were stopped and fined by police for not wearing masks. The judges said: ‘It was unlawful to prosecute people in an open air situation.’ We wait to see if there are any repercussions on that one!”

A fascinating man who is well respected in the towns and villages here.

Brian and Elaine Hayhurst

Now, for anyone thinking of coming here, we must now consider the added holidaymaker stopper – the ‘Declaration to Travel Doc.’ This, added to other restrictions, prevents travellers from coming to places like Spain unless for work, funerals, education or on medical grounds. This form has to be completed before boarding and carries big fines for offenders.

The property market is understandably erratic at the moment but with the GB pound riding high (1.17) against the euro, this would be a good time to buy – if you can get over here.

A friend, Karen Poland, said: “A property could be many thousands of euros cheaper than a few months ago – although prices may drop markedly as foreign owners struggling financially want to sell up leaving the market overstocked.”

The Royal family in England have been in the news but we have more on the saga here relating to the former King Juan Carlos, 82, who is now in self-imposed exile in an Abu Dhabi luxury hotel.

He is under investigation for tax irregularities and no doubt regretting an alleged five-year affair with a much younger Danish businesswoman, which came to light some years ago. The Swiss Government are investigating a £59 million payment he is claimed to have given her as a gift!

PS – The good news is that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is expected to be approved by the Spanish government. This requires only one injection as opposed to the others which need the follow up second jab.