Holidaymakers have returned to Spain in recent weeks as lockdown measures around the world begin to ease. However, with new cases rising in parts of Spain, authorities in the country have set out strict social distancing measures which mean the holiday experience looks somewhat different this year.
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Pictures taken over the weekend, on July 19, show the reality of the beach experience in Malaga.
Andalucia’s face masks rule means those in the region are obliged to wear a mask at all times when in public, meaning beachgoers are now pairing their usual swimwear and shorts with a new accessory.
The photographs taken at Malaga’s La Malagueta beach also highlight a heightened police presence too, as authorities keep an eye on beachgoers to ensure they are following the legal requirements.
Anyone, whether local or tourist, found to be flouting the rules will be issued an on-the-spot €100 (£91) fine.
However, there are some times when the removal of masks is okay.
When in the sea, seated under an umbrella or eating, face coverings may be taken off temporarily.
Speaking to local press, regional health minister Jesus Aguirre said: “We ask for the use of masks on beaches and at swimming pools, with only family units and children under six being exempt.
“So, on walks along the beach, you will have to wear a mask. “
Social distancing of 1.5 metres remains in place in Spain, which means beachgoers are limited.
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Groups who are not together are being asked to seat themselves far from others and limit contact where possible.
Signposts have been erected along the coast to guide visitors on regulations.
The region has also introduced new beach wardens for the summer season, whose purpose is to remind sunbathers of the new rules in place.
According to the BBC, around 3,000 wardens have been employed up and down the Andalucia coast so far.
Other new regulations in Malaga include a ban on beachgoers “reserving spots”.
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In the Costa del Sol, fines of between €60 (£54) and €750 (£680) have been dished out to those found to be in breach of the rule.
Rincon de la Victoria’s mayor, José Francisco Salado Escaño listed some of the items which had been found left behind as spot savers so far.
They include chairs, towels, umbrellas and mosquito nets.
He warned: “This situation is giving rise to problems of coexistence, of public order and safety on the beaches of the municipality.”
With England giving the green-light to quarantine-free travel to Spain, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has issued its own advice to help tourists understand what is expected of them when visiting the country.
“The use of face coverings is mandatory for anyone over the age of six years old on all forms of public transport in Spain and in many other indoor and outdoor public spaces,” advises the FCO.
“Specific rules on the use of face masks may vary from one region to the next.
“Check with authorities for advice on requirements.
“You should carry a face mask with you and be prepared to wear it throughout your stay.”
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