Algarve beach season begins tomorrow with ‘safety and quality’- what changes?
Going to the beach is regarded as a moment of relaxation, but as of this Saturday, when the bathing season opens, bathers, of the sun and sea alike, will have to follow a set of rules to minimise the spread of COVID-19. Prime Minister António Costa and his wife set foot on a beach this week, setting an example and examining the measures imposed to aid in the safety of the population. Distancing on the beach between people who are not from the same household is the main care to be taken.
Moreover, beach visits may be banned for reasons of public health protection in the event of a serious breach of the established rules. And not all open on the same date. Each mayor has set the dates for the entry into force of the respective bathing seasons for their municipality. For the Algarve region, Alentejo, and Lisbon, all beaches will open tomorrow. In the central region, the opening of beaches as part of the bathing season varies between June 14th and July 1st.
Here’s what changes:
1 – Physical distance of 1.5 meters between people (who are not part of the same group)
2 – 3 meters spacing between parasols, awnings or towels
3 – Sports activities with two or more people are prohibited (except nautical activities, surf lessons and similar sports)
4 – Exceptional extension of the concession area allowed
5 – In relation to awnings, loungers, and such, as a rule, each person can only rent them in one of two slots, the morning (until 13:30) or in the afternoon (from 14:00), with a maximum of five people for each of these structures
Beach occupation signs
1 – Occupancy status announced through traffic light system: green means low occupancy (1/3); yellow high occupancy (2/3); red full occupancy (3/3)
2 – Information updated continuously, in real time, namely in the ‘Info beach’ app and on the website of the Portuguese Environment Agency on the Internet (The app will only function properly from tomorrow)
3 – Parking is prohibited outside carparks and orderly parking areas
1 – Single way of circulation on and off beach, with physical distance of 1.5 meters
2 – Circulation corridors, parallel and perpendicular to the coastline can be defined
Bars, restaurants and terraces
1 – Regular cleaning of spaces (minimum: four daily cleanings)
2 – Capacity limitation
3 – Possible reorganization of outdoor seating to ensure safety distance
1 – Mandatory use of a mask and visor by the seller in contacts with users
2 – The circulation of street vendors must be done with physical distancing and, preferably, through the circulation corridors.
1 – The use of slides or indoor showers is prohibited
2 – Outdoor showers, sunbeds, mattresses or beach ashtrays must be cleaned daily or whenever the user changes
General duties of users
1 – Avoid visiting areas with high or full occupancy
2 – Proceed with regular disinfection of hands and mandatorily on arrival at the beach
3 – Ensure the physical safety distance when using the beach and when swimming.