Holidays in Spain may not be the relaxing experience they once were. Since the coronavirus pandemic began, holiday hotspots have been closed after international travel was brought to a halt. But now, some European destinations such as Spain, Italy and Greece are hoping to invite holidaymakers back and kickstart their tourism industry.
However, one province of Spain on the Costa del Sol has introduced stringent cleaning measures for beachgoers.
Malaga – known for its yellow-sand beaches and popular resorts – has become one of the first holiday destinations in Spain to use germ-killing UV lights.
The ultraviolet lights will be used to help keep beachgoers safe but could severely impact your holiday.
The UV lights are being installed in 28 toilets on Malaga’s most popular beaches and will automatically flush and disinfect the toilets.
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A red light will switch on every time someone leaves the toilet, with the next person then having to wait 15 minutes before they can use the toilet.
Although the new measures are stringent, the Spanish authorities have said that the system will kill 99 percent of germs.
The new measures will mean that beachgoers will not have to touch handles or buttons to flush the toilets.
Tourists can also use pedals to turn on the taps to avoid their hands touching surfaces on their way out the toilet.
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Unlike other regions, all 136 of the beach showers and the 45 foot wash stations on the beaches will remain open.
However, like the toilets they can only be used by one person at a time unless they are family members.
Malaga’s popular beaches are set to reopen on June 1 after the region enters phase two of its easing of lockdown.
There was a delay in entering phase two due to the the incidence of coronavirus and the Spanish government’s ruling that it “wasn’t quite ready” for the next stage in the country’s de-escalation plan.
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The city’s council has decided not to use a system where beach-goers can book a slot on the beach.
But an app will be available to give real-time information about how packed a particular beach is.
The beaches will remain open all day and no area will be cordoned off.
However, beachgoers will be asked to observe social distancing rues and remain two metres apart.
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Some areas of the beach could take up to 15 people at a time.
The sand will need to be cleaned and disinfected overnight.
Despite the beaches opening on June 1, councillor for beaches Teresa Porras said lifeguards and beach controls would not start until June 15.
Ms Porras said: “It’s up to to apply common sense and respect the rules so that we do not take steps back.”
It comes as one holiday hotspot in France, La Grande Motte, near Montpellier in the Herault region, decided to implement strict beach rules.
The new rules include cordoned off areas for sunbathers, booking a three and a half hour slot to sunbathe and using a one-way system when entering and leaving the sea.
Additional reporting by Rita Sobot