Spain’s tourism minister, Reyes Maroto, has told the country’s El Pais newspaper that social distancing rules will have to be kept in place on beaches, once the nationwide lockdown finishes.
“It is very important that we continue to follow health recommendations, we must keep up what we are doing now, washing our hands, keeping social distance… even on the beach,” she added when asked if beach access would be restricted once the lockdown ends.
The country’s tourism industry has suffered badly due to the coronavirus restrictions, with one recent estimate suggesting a loss of €15 billion purely during the Easter period.
Spain is behind France in being the world’s most-visited country, and tourist revenue is crucial for the the country’s economy, accounting for almost 12 per cent of GDP.
Spain has also recorded a stream of record-breaking years for foreign visitors, following a period in the early part of the previous decade when it lost out to cheap holiday packages in countries like Tunisia and Turkey.
Last year Spain attracted close to 84 million international holidaymakers.
Maroto’s comments come as no real surprise, as experts predict that Spain will have to maintain distancing rules for quite some months after formal isolation measures under the current State of Alarm are relaxed.