Will we be able to enjoy the lovely Spanish beaches this summer? Now that we know that the two-week coronavirus quarantine for overseas arrivals in Spain will be lifted from July 1st, we want to know when will beaches in Spain reopen. According to El País, Spain is to recommend reopening beaches at reduced capacity, just like its neighboring country, Portugal, where beaches are already open.
Spanish beaches should be reopened in summer with measures in place to reduce the risk of coronavirus contagion. These measures include:
- Limits on capacity
- Distance between sun loungers
- Delineating the space allowed for each beachgoer.
Beaches are allowed to reopen under Phase 2 of Spain’s deescalation plan. So far, beaches have been only open for walks and sports activities. The Institute of Quality Spanish Tourism (ICTE) established general protocols for reopening beaches. In addition, a draft agreement was reached with regional and local authorities. The final decision on beach regulations will fall to city councils, which are largely responsible for beach management. In fact, local councils will have to determine whether it is necessary to set up a system that warns people they are unable to go to a beach when it is at capacity.
“It’s a draft that still needs to be approved by the Health Ministry, meaning that the final version could be different,” explained a spokesperson from ICTE. “The rules are not binding, but they have been created with the input of the regions and local authorities, so we believe that most of them will be followed.”
Local governments should estimate the capacity of each beach, taking into account its characteristics and how space is used (availability of beach umbrellas and sun loungers) to determine whether it is necessary to control access or set up a system that warns people they are unable to go to a beach when it is at capacity.
According to the guidelines, areas for sun loungers and umbrellas must be clearly demarcated, with controls set up to ensure that “the equipment has been properly cleaned and disinfected.”
Some regions in Spain have already outlined their own regulations. In Andalusia, for example, Southern Spain, regional authorities have recommended limiting time at the beach to four hours, setting out safe distances on the sand, setting opening and closing hours, disinfecting beaches every day, and banning the use of shower facilities and changing rooms. And in Tenerife, the white-sanded Las Teresitas beach is now open under Phase 2 of the government’s coronavirus deescalation plan. Some watersports are even available already, like SUP tours and kayak tours for small groups.
So the answer to our question is soon! Gradually, beaches in Spain will reopen. There’s no fixed date like in Portugal, because the decision about the reopening date and the protocol for each beach depend on municipal authorities.