Police forces across the region have introduced additional checkpoints on all access roads in anticipation of the arrival of people from Madrid and elsewhere who might be wishing to use their second or holiday homes in the region over the Easter period.

Torrevieja’s councillor for security, Federico Alarcón, said that he anticipates the arrival of families with second residences coming mainly from towns and cities in the centre and north of Spain.

He said that throughout this week controls, especially at night, have been intensified by the Civil Guard and the Local Police to control all access to the town.

He said that people would be sanctioned and vehicles turned around so as not to place an additional unnecessary burden on the region’s hospitals.

At the time of writing there had been no sanctions in Torrevieja although further down the coast, on the Mar Menor, the situation has been very different as police report that hundreds of people have been fined with families flocking to the coast.

Despite the fact that Easter processions and other celebrations have been cancelled many Spaniards are unable to resist the temptation of making their annual Semana Santa trip to their holiday homes on the Mar Menor.

The Mayor of San Javier claimed that numerous tourists were arriving in the town, and hoping to sneak into their apartments, in the middle of the night but together with the police and denuncias made by members of the general public the situation was under control.

However, he said that the problems are expected to peak on Thursday and Friday as the long Easter weekend gets under way, while Mario Perez, the Mayor of Los Alcazares, spoke of families being stopped, fined and turned around only to return for another attempt a couple of hours later.

Santa Pola police also cracked down on people arriving in the area – despite the coronavirus lockdown – with dozens of fines handed out to law-breaking motorists.

A police spokesperson said that despite movement being strictly limited, people are arriving en masse in the popular location of Playa Lisa, Santa Pola beach.

Amongst the arrivals from within Spain, there have been a number of families from Madrid, where the coronavirus situation has registered the highest numbers of positive cases. Those people stopped by the Police have been forced to return to their places of origin.

One resident of Santa Pola told the Leader “We cannot thank the police enough for the work they are doing – for the safety of everyone. They are risking their lives. Most people are adhering to the legislation that is in place – but many are not listening, putting us all in additional danger.”