Coronavirus lockdown Brits in Benidorm celebrate ‘like NYE’ before bars shut

Holidaying Brits in Benidorm made the most of their last night out as Spain prepared to shut down in a bid to stop the spread of coronavirus.

One said on Twitter the atmosphere was like "New Year's Eve" as boozy UK nationals counted down to midnight.

As the clock ticked over into Saturday, Spanish police flooded public spaces and forced drunk Brits back to their hotel.

Pictures from the night show large crowds drinking, dancing, and singing along to the latest hits, moments before a large police presence was snapped.

The Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said the move to close Spain "will protect all its citizens" and "guarantee" the right conditions to tackle the deadly virus.

Coronavirus cases are now well over 100,000 and at least 5,000 people have died from the disease globally.

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It has trapped thousands of Brits inside Spain, who had hoped for a relaxing sunny getaway at a cheap price.

Hundreds took to Twitter to share their disbelief at the news, one said: "Can’t believe my Mum fled to Benidorm this morning and now they are on lock down from midnight tonight. See you in a month hun!”

Another tweeted: "Whole of Benidorm where I DJ is on lockdown as of 12 tonight. So if you’re coming over for a stag and hen party soon or on holiday in general, don’t bother.”

While a third added: "Me Dad has just landed in Benidorm for a week and they've announced they're going into lockdown at 12, he’s got a grand total of 2 hours on the ale."

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Confirming the news in a Facebook post which has since gathered 16,000 comments, Benidorm's tourist board said: "As of midnight Benidorm is closed. A decree been issued that all bars, clubs, restaurants etc must close.

"This is a disaster for the resort, if you are booked to come cancel… especially if there’s an option for a refund.

"Not 100% how they will enforce this but I certainly wouldn’t argue with either the National Police or Guardia."

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Party capitals Ibiza and Majorca have also hung up their dancing shoes following the decision by the Spanish authority to shut down the country.

It comes as Spain as a whole saw the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases rocket by more than 25 per cent to 4,334, including over 120 deaths.

The Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said: "The government of Spain will protect all its citizens and will guarantee the right life conditions to slow the pandemic with as little inconvenience as possible."

He said Spain will "mobilise all resources", including the military, to contain a sharp rise in cases.

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