BRITISH holidaymakers in Benidorm will be forced to leave the beach at lunchtime this summer.
The resort’s two main beaches will be cleared between morning and afternoon sessions as part of strict social distancing rules controlling the number of sun-seekers.
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Mayor Toni Perez revealed today beaches would stay closed on Monday and stay shut until mid-June at the earliest – despite being given the go-ahead by the Spanish government.
But Mr Perez said foreign tourists who are able to holiday in Benidorm could rest easy, because its beaches would be open by the time a Madrid-imposed holidaymakers’ quarantine was lifted at the start of July.
The whole of the Brit-popular Costa Blanca, including Benidorm, moves onto phase two of a four-phase Spanish government-led coronavirus recovery programme on Monday.
The easing of restrictions allowed under phase two means Benidorm could open its beach to locals and expats wanting to take their first dip in the sea for two and a half months.
Costa del Sol resorts like Marbella and Fuengirola will open their beaches on Monday.
But Mr Perez said today: “On Monday Benidorm will keep its beaches closed."
Sensors are being installed at the beach in Fuengirola which has boasted of being the first to opt for an artificial intelligence system to keep numbers down.
Scanners fitted to lamp posts will monitor how many people are on the beach and inform tourists via a smartphone app which areas are busiest.
Mr Perez is been among those who have expressed concern over the British government’s quarantine rules.
He spoke out after Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez said foreign holidaymakers would be welcomed back from July after its current quarantine rules on people arriving in the country are lifted.
The quarantine rules will begin in Britain on June 8 and are due to apply to British holidaymakers returning to the UK from places like Spain.
Spain is the top destination for British tourists, with around 18 million people from the UK visiting the country normally every year.
Benidorm – made even more famous by the hit ITV comedy series of the same name – even boasts an area known as Little England.
A spokesman for Benidorm Town Hall said today: “In the next few days we will present our beach re-opening and management plans, based on the new circumstances generated by Covid-19."
“Technology will play a fundamental role."
“The resort will re-open its beaches in mid-June once all security parameters can be guaranteed.”
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