Holidays in 2020 have been completely transformed after the coronavirus pandemic hit Europe earlier this year. Countries across the continent were forced to close their doors to international travel and tourism to help stop the spread of the deadly virus. But as travel restrictions are eased and tourists return, countries are putting stringent safety and cleaning measures in place to give visitors peace of mind.
Today, it has been confirmed that Britons heading to the popular Costa del Sol region of Spain could face new safety measures.
President of the Andalusian Government, Juanma Moreno confirmed that from July 15, wearing face masks will be compulsory.
The new rule change comes as temperatures in the region soar above 80F (26C).
The move will also be put in place regardless of current social distancing rules being in place.
Spain holidays: Tourists forced to wear face masks in Costa del Sol despite scorching heat
Spain holidays: The new rule change comes as temperatures in the region soar
Juanma Moreno said: “Despite the heat, difficulties and limitations, we have to get used to wearing the mask permanently.
“With the use of the mask, the risk of contagion is reduced to one percent.”
He added: “We all have to work together until there is no effective treatment or a vaccine.”
The move mirrors similar decisions taken in other holiday destinations in Spain including Catalonia and the Balearic Islands.
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Both regions are imposing fines of €100 (£89.94) to anyone caught not wearing masks from July 20.
This means tourists have one week to enjoy the sun without a mask.
In the popular Majorca and Ibiza, there will be some exceptions.
For example, face masks will not be mandatory on beaches and swimming pools, in the countryside and when eating or drinking in a restaurant.
Spain holidays: The masks will have to be worn in open and closed spaces
Juanma Moreno said that in some Andalusian municipalities, a “tourismophobia” was developing.
He explained that the reason locals are disliking tourists is due to visitors “who do not properly attend to security measures and, also, a progressive relaxation in protection habits has been detected”.
The masks will have to be worn in open and closed spaces, even if social distancing is possible.
Moreno said that despite coronavirus outbreaks in the last couple of days, the situation was under control and cases were declining, as were the number of people in hospital.
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He called for individual and collective responsibility and to continue taking extreme precautions.
Temperatures in the Costa del Sol are currently hitting 28C (82.4F) and 29C (84.2F) every day with the sun likely to intensify in the coming weeks.
There have been over 13 million coronavirus cases across the world and over half a million deaths from the deadly disease.
Mainland Spain has had over 300,000 cases and over 28,000 deaths.
Additional reporting by Rita Sobot