Spain: Marbella beaches close as face masks now compulsory on the beach in Canary Islands

Spain is normally a hugely popular holiday destination for Britons. However, the coronavirus pandemic has thrown an enormous spanner in the works and messed up the plan of countless holidaymakers. Anyone returning from Spain now has to quarantine for 14 days on their return.

Travellers to Spain will also have to face a very different holiday experience than before.

It was revealed today that, on the mainland, Marbella beaches will close at night while strict face mask rules have been introduced in the Canary Islands.

Costa del Sol resort Marbella is to close all of its beaches between 9.30pm every night and 7am the next morning as Spain steps up safety restrictions to try and halt the spread of coronavirus.

The decision was announced on Monday by the local council and comes into force on Tuesday.

The authority says the new timescale will continue “indefinitely” or until the evolution of the coronavirus pandemic allows a reversal.

The news will affect those hoping to stay out late and enjoy the warm evenings as well as those hoping to bag an early spot on the sands.

Speaking on behalf of Ángeles Muñoz, Marbella’s mayor, municipal spokesman, Félix Romero said of the additional measure: “Our goal is to prevent social gatherings, such as parties and barbecues, which could pose a risk to public health and a focus on possible outbreaks.”

The local police have been asked to step up patrols and will be responsible for making sure the new times are adhered to.

Sunbathers will be given an extra half an hour to tidy up and go home by 10pm.

Romero added: “Although today the situation is controlled from the health point of view, it is necessary to take measures to slow the progress of the virus.”

The council said: “It is clear that on the beaches, as anywhere, there is always a level of risk, but in a party environment, the risk is much higher.

“With this measure we want to ensure that this situation is avoided this year as much as possible.”

Meanwhile, on the Canary Islands – home to popular destinations Tenerife, Lanzarote and Gran Canaria – face masks are now obligatory on the beach as local authorities rule the wearing of the masks compulsory in all public places.

However, sun-worshippers will only have to wear face masks when walking along the beaches or accessing them.

They will be exempt when sitting in one spot or in the water.

Holidaymakers will also have to wear the coverings around swimming pools.

It is now mandatory for everyone over six years to wear a mask, on public roads, in outdoor spaces and in any closed place, or that is open to the public, regardless of the maintenance of the interpersonal safety distance of 1.5 meters.

In the hotel and catering establishments and services, including bars and cafeterias, masks have to be worn except when physically eating or drinking.

The Canary government is also warning that masks must be worn in the proper way. They must cover the nose and mouth completely at all times and go under the chin to make sure no droplets are released into the air.

Spain currently has more coronavirus cases than the UK – a total of 342,813 confirmed cases.

Additional reporting by Rita Sobot.

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