On Friday, the Spanish Institute for Tourism Quality (ICTE) submitted its draft set of protocols for beaches to the health ministry. These are due to be ratified by the ministry and adopted by governments in regions to which they apply.
On capacity of beaches, this is to be determined by the entity which has responsibility for the management of beaches, which will typically be town halls. This capacity will take into account beach characteristics, the number of beachgoers and whether they are on their own or in groups, and the activities and services, such as the provision of sunloungers, and where these are located. There will also be the need to define the maximum number for a group of people.
Once the capacity has been determined, it can be controlled in a variety of ways. With controls for entrance to and exit from beaches, these need to be organised in such a way as to avoid bottlenecks and crowds. When maximum capacity has been reached, there needs to be a system of information - this can be with signs, verbally by beach personnel or with apps.
For sunloungers and parasols, the area needs to be clearly marked, for instance with tape, and there have to be controls to ensure proper disinfection and cleaning prior to use.
A risk management committee needs to be set up and to have a specific contingency plan. Work processes on the beach need to ensure safe distancing, while beach users closest to the sea need to leave sufficient social distance from the water for people who may be walking along the water's edge. This social distance also applies to people going into the sea.
At access points to beaches or even before people go to beaches, information needs to be provided regarding preventive measures, the estimated capacity of individual beaches, and any restrictions which might apply. For accessibility, there will need to be information confirming if assisted bathing services are available. Personal protective equipment and mechanical means to give staff protection will need to be supplied.
For children's play areas and other recreational areas, capacity control will be required as well as full compliance with health safety measures. If these cannot be guaranteed, the areas will have to be closed off.
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