By Cathy Elelman • 25 April 2020 • 20:38
WAITING: Councils point out the government has not yet set out when and under what conditions beaches could open up once more
LOCAL councils the length of the Costa Almeria are gearing up for reopening beaches post lockdown once the Spanish government gives the green light and sets out under what conditions.
Adra is one municipality which has started work on a ‘contingency plan’ aimed particularly at beefing up hygiene measures and security. The local authority is looking at different options for controlling the number of beachgoers and access, but says nothing concrete will be decided until the national administration establishes the protocols.
The Roquetas de Mar Tourism and Beaches councillor Francisco Barrionuevo told Spanish press there will be no skimping on resources to allow for beaches to open as soon as it’s possible.
“The council is only waiting for them to give us precise instructions on several unknowns: when it will be possible to reopen, the limit on numbers and how the limitation will be regulated, and finally, what distancing measures will be imposed,” he said.
The provincial capital’s administration is in the process of renewing contracts for beach services, but is also reportedly waiting on instructions from the national government, as is Pulpi Council.
Mayor Juan Pedro Garcia said his governing team is also looking at how to control beachgoer numbers, and also the number of people using the swimming pools.
In Mojacar everything is ready, Mayor Rosa Maria Cano told press, explaining work has started on cleaning the seafront promenade. In addition, new cement walkways are being installed to replace the wooden ones at a cost of €30,000.
But again, she said the council is waiting on central government instructions.
It is much the same story in Nijar.
“We are waiting for them to inform us whether it is it true or not that the beaches, hotels, bars and schools will open, because at the moment there are only declarations and it is true that this is creating as many expectations as fears,” commented Mayor Esperanza Perez.
She also pointed out that local authorities have limited decision-making powers on the matter, although they will be the administrations which will apply the measures.
Carboneras mayor Jose Luis Amerigo reportedly believes it is somewhat premature to make plans at this stage and that it would be better to wait and see how the lockdown de-escalation takes shape so that planning can be informed and precise.
He also warned local authorities could struggle to find the funds to apply all the necessary conditions demanded by the coronavirus risk.
Amerigo referred to specific issues like how to keep a check on the number of people going onto and coming off his municipality’s 17 kilometres of beaches, and what do to about double showers.
Both Garrucha and Cuevas del Almanzora councils are also getting matters like lifeguard services and beach facilities sorted, but waiting on specific instructions. In both cases they expect there to be measures in areas like shower and toilet use, social distancing, limiting access and beachgoer numbers.
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Cathy Elelman is the local writer for the Costa de Almeria edition of the Euro Weekly News.
Based in Mojacar for the last 21 years, Cathy is very much part of the local community and is always well and truly up on all the latest news and events going on in this region of Spain.
Her top goals are to do the best job she can informing the local English-speaking community, visitors to the area and the wider world about about the news in Almeria, to learn something new every day, and to embrace very new challenge this fast-changing world brings her way.
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