Spain’s Government Agrees to Increase the Maximum Capacity on Beaches In A Win For Northern Beaches

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DIFFERENCE: Useable beach area on Galicia’s Atlantic coast varies considerably according to the tide CREDIT: Xunta de Galicia

This Wednesday Spain’s government agreed to increase the maximum capacity allowed on its beaches under the coronavirus crisis protective measures.

THEY will no longer be using the six-metre reference to count the shore from high tide, now capacity will be calculated by evaluating that each bather on the beach should occupy approximately four square metres.

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Following the requests for review made by the Institute for Spanish Tourist Quality (ICTE), the government has modified point 46.5 of Order 440/2020 of the Official State Gazette, published last Saturday, May 23, regarding the use of beaches, in which it was established that “in order to calculate the capacity of the beaches, the usable surface of the beach will be discounted by, at least, a strip of six metres to account for the sea shore at high tide.”

As published in the Official State Gazette on Wednesday, municipalities may establish limitations on both access, which will always be free, and capacity on the beaches in order to ensure that the interpersonal distance of at least two metres is respected between bathers.

Likewise, in order to guarantee their enjoyment by as many people as possible in conditions of sanitary security, they may also establish limits on the time they stay there, as well as access to the car parks in order to facilitate control of capacity from the beaches.


The ICTE has expressed its satisfaction with this change, since, as it had been explained to the government, if this measure were applied literally, it would make it impossible for a large number of the coastal beaches to be enjoyed by all the northern communities of Spain since the high tides in the north of Spain – unlike those of the Mediterranean – causes many of the sandbanks to practically disappear.





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