EIt’s a whole new experience. Summer is coming, but the Spanish beaches first belong to the locals – and not everywhere. The government’s multi-stage easing plan has created a colorful map. Only part of the country moved into the second phase on Monday, which allows swimming again. Until then, for example, only walks on the beach were possible in Mallorca. On the Balearic Islands, the Canaries and on the Andalusian coast, the inhabitants can cool off in the sea and have an unusual amount of space. Because foreign bathers will not be allowed to arrive in the next few weeks, either from the interior or from abroad. Only at the end of June is the “new normal” to be achieved, which will bring back freedom of travel to the Spanish in their own country.
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez also hopes foreign tourists for July. His government is negotiating bilateral agreements with countries such as Germany, France and the UK to return vacationers, the Spanish Foreign Ministry said. There is probably not enough time to find a common solution in the European Union for opening the borders.
The calm of the summer rush is not inconvenient for the local authorities. With fewer bathers, you can try out how they implement the new Ministry of Health regulations. In view of the fun-loving crowds of previous years, the requirements seem almost out of touch with the world. It is not the water that is the dangerous factor, but the proximity among the bathers. The combined effect of salty sea water, ultraviolet solar radiation and the high temperature are beneficial for the deactivation of pathogens.
The distance between people is important. The government recommends at least four meters between the parasols and two meters between the loungers. At the water, a wide strip should remain free for walkers. The Ministry of Health is also concerned about the strong sea breeze, which may spread airborne particles and increase the risk of infection. So far, one cannot get excited about partition walls made of plexiglass, such as those used in Italy.
Less beach chairs and umbrellas
It is clear that access is severely restricted everywhere and the number of supervisors is increased. That means fewer chairs and umbrellas. In Sóller on Mallorca, for the time being, only 40 percent of the beds are planned compared to the season last year, as the “Mallorca-Zeitung” reports. The toilets on the beach should be disinfected after each use. For safety’s sake, you want to dismantle the showers on other beaches. In order to keep the distance requirement, experiments are carried out in Andalusia with a roller with which a tractor stamps corresponding plots in the sand. On the beach of Canet d’en Berenguer in the province of Valencia, ribbons delimit corresponding squares that can be reserved online for the morning or the afternoon. A QR code with the exact location is then sent to the mobile phone as a kind of admission ticket. Vigo in the north of Spain is said to have lounging areas for up to six bathers. According to the new regulations, groups may consist of a maximum of 15 people. This also means a new challenge for the chiringuitos – the beach bars can open again, but only if they ensure sufficient distance.
Those who live in the interior have to wait for refreshment despite the summer temperatures. For inland waters with low currents, the ministry recommends not swimming at all this season. In Madrid, which only made it into the first phase on Monday, there was a small ray of hope for the residents. The city council finally wanted to open Playa de Madrid again. The city beach without sand and waves consists of a dozen fountains and several lawns. “Madrid Río” is the name of the parkland on the banks of the Manzanares River, which, like the other large parks, has been closed since the beginning of the exit restrictions. The right sea is still inaccessible for the inhabitants of the capital region. They cannot even cross the borders of their province in the next few weeks. A weekend at Playa de Palma is just as much a dream for her as it is for German Mallorca fans.