BENIDORM'S Brit bar owners who have been crippled by Covid are pleading with Boris Johnson to put Spain on the green list.

Summer holidays are back on after the PM confirmed that foreign travel is allowed from May 17 – but Spain is still on the amber list meaning hotel quarantine is mandatory on return.

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Those travelling to amber and red list countries face far greater restrictions.

The UK accounts for 40 per cent of tourists in the Costa Blanca resort but businesses have been badly hit by the pandemic..

And bar bosses claim the PM’s refusal to put Spain on the travel green list is a selfish act to boost the economy with UK holidays.

Brits will still need a negative Covid test before returning to the UK, and one on day two, when returning from green countries.

Scott O’Brien, who owns The Bulldog pub in Benidorm, told the Mirror: “Things are completely safe over here now.

"It’s strict with mask-wearing in the streets and people are getting vaccinated quickly.”

Scott, 55, originally from Glasgow, has been living in Spain for 35 years but has had to survive on his savings.

He said: “The feeling here is that Boris Johnson wants to keep the money in Britain with staycations.

“I understand that as every country has struggled, but it’s untrue to suggest it’s not safe over here.

“If the UK got rid of the quarantine it would make a huge difference. We’re struggling out here and we need the Brits.”

Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez announced last week that British tourists would be allowed in but the country remains on the UK’s amber list, meaning visitor must quarantine on their return.

The Valencia region has a rate of 29 cases per 100,000 people, and Benidorm itself has 25.

In Portugal, which is on the no-quarantine green list, the rate is 52 cases per 100,000.

John McGeechan, 50, who runs The Crown pub with his 36-year-old partner Diane Geary directly appealed to the PM.

“Spain’s opening up but Boris Johnson’s trying to keep people in the UK," said John, who is originally from Scotland but lived with Diane in Leicestershire

"It’s time to let people come without restrictions.”

“Spain’s levels are pretty low and this region in particular is safe. We are desperate to get the tourists back in.”

Masks wearing is compulsory outside in the region and people only take them off once they have taken their seat at a bar or restaurant, or on the beach.

Sunbather are separated by two-metre grids so theycan socially distance.

Bars have to close at 12.30am and drinkers must be off the streets by 1am, but that is likely to get later in the coming weeks.

Benidorm Mayor Toni Perez is pushing for the region to be placed in a travel corridor with the UK and understands the British ambassador is in conversation with the UK Government about the proposals.

He said: “The numbers are so low in the Valencia region and even lower in Benidorm.

“These numbers should be our guarantee to be on the green list.”

In a direct plea to the PM, Mr Perez said: “Come on Boris – Benidorm is safe!”

Craig Holland, 32, from Southampton, runs The Winning Post bar.

He said: “You’ve got to wear masks, there’s constant hand washing.

"I’d support a move to allow Brits into the Alicante region.

“But you can’t expect there to be hard borders in Spain.

"Lots of British people who worked here have gone home.

“But those of us that are here are still fighting for it.

“Things can only get better.”

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