Municipalities are now in charge of their own beaches and their management during their reopening in Phase 2, however, several beaches across Costa Blanca have employed different and innovative protocols to ensure safety, for example, Benidorm has chosen to close at midday.
NOW that beaches under Phase 2 may reopen to the public, the coastal areas have had to employ new measures and protocols to ensure the safety of their residents.
Municipalities on the Valencian coast have been forced to make heavy investments in order to adapt to the new beach security protocols. These costs are on top of the ones incurred from the destructive impact some beaches experienced as a result of the Storm Dana in September and the Storm Gloria in January.
The most striking change in measures on the beaches of Costa Blanca has been that of Benidorm’s. In Benidorm they have already announced that toilets and bathrooms on the beach will not reopen until June 15, and that it will set specific opening hours for its beaches which will be closed at around midday.
Toni Perez, the mayor of Benidorm has announced that keeping the beaches closed is a measure taken “out of responsibility” and that until safety can be assured in the sand and bathing areas, these will not be changed.
Furthermore, capacity has been reduced to 50 per cent and beachgoers can either enjoy this time on its shores in the morning or in the afternoon, as the beach area will be closed at noon and at night in order to clean and disinfect common use items.
“The beach is a right and the more people who can enjoy it, the better” points out Perez, explaining that this split shift for disinfection favours the mobility of users and will allow for a greater number of bathers to access the beach during the day.
There will, of course, be a control of capacity, flows and direction when accessing the beach, a safety distance of two metres between people, as well as distances of more than four metres with the sea line and the allowance of its shift. However, everything is nearing completion and will remain closed, “until we can offer maximum safety to users on our beaches, we will not open them,” said Perez.
Other municipalities in the area, such as Alcossebre or Moncofa, have also announced that they will not open their beaches until they have finalised their protocols which at the latest will take a few more days.
However, Gandia is ready to open its beaches and will boast a lifeguard and surveillance service with a greater police presence to ensure that protocols are safely established. The municipality has also installed specific entrance and exit footbridges for beachgoers with a series of divisions to “guarantee individual space.” The mayor of Tourism Vicente Mascarell has also announced that the sand will be cleaned and disinfected every day.
Until the summer progresses, they have agreed to keep bathrooms, sinks, showers and children’s play areas closed.
On the beaches in the city of Valencia, the town hall has signalled out safe corridors for people to enter and exit the beach via separate footbridges. Furthermore, they have installed signs in all bathing areas which inform users of the minimum permitted distance between hammocks which will be of 2 metres; between umbrellas which will be 4 metres, and between the beachgoer and the shore which will be 6 metres.