Spain holiday chaos: Strict post-lockdown rules to cut beach capacity in half

Plans have been drawn up to install tape around sun loungers to ensure each person can keep a safe distance of at least two metres. A council in the north-west of the country is taking steps to ensure people can enjoy the hot weather over the summer months without risking spreading COVID-19. Spain remains one of the worst-hit countries by the coronavirus pandemic, with more than 256,000 confirmed cases and over 26,000 deaths.

The rules being considered by the local authority in the municipality of Sanxenxo in the province of Pontevedra will see space on the sand divide divided into square “patches”.

The mixing of people from different households will not be allowed inside roped-off sections.

The vision focuses on Silgar beach, one of the most popular stretches of sand and sea in the autonomous community of Galicia.

Mayor of Sanxenxo Telmo Martin laid out the plans as locals prepare for the tourist season, Newsflash reports.

Graphics released by the council show the beach divided into 780 squares.

These are contained in five zones.

Each zone has the capacity to hold between 1,560 and 2,340 people.

This is significantly less than the number of sunbathers and swimmers who would usually flock to the beach on a summer’s day – up to 50 percent less in fact.

If the plans are rolled out, each person or household will have to remain in their designated patch of 10 square feet.

Reports suggest that 80 percent of Sanxenxo’s economy depends on tourism.

Local restaurants, bars and cafes are likely to feel the pinch over the coming months as the lockdown is lifted.

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Spain has a four-phase plan to lift a coronavirus lockdown and return to normal by the end of June.

The plan will vary from province to province.

Advancing through the stages will depend on factors such as how the rate of infection evolves, the number of intensive care beds available locally and compliance with distancing rules.

The preparatory phase which is underway this week allows hairdressers and other businesses that offer service by appointment to reopen.

Professional sports leagues will go back to training and Spaniards are permitted to take short walks outside.

Phase one will kick off next Monday in all provinces that meet the necessary requirements.

It will see small businesses reopen under strict safety conditions and bars and restaurants will also be able to welcome customers on their terraces.

Hotels and other tourist accommodation can reopen but common areas will be off-limits.

Churches and other places of worship can open again, limiting their capacity to one third.

The measures will be followed by the opening of theatres and cinemas from late May as part of phase two.

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