Brit expats in Andalusia concerned over plans to reopen beaches

Published:  24 Apr at 6 PM
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The popular Spanish beachside hotspot of Andalusia is planning to open its 1,000 kms of beaches in time for the summer season, but with restrictions imposed.

In a desperate attempt to claw back some of the damage to its tourism revenue by the pandemic, Andalusia’s government is planning to re-open its swathe of beaches during July and August. The region is popular with British expat retirees, many of whom are now concerned the move may reignite a surge in pandemic victims, even although strict social distancing rules will apply.

According to a statement by the head of the regional government, social distancing involves calculating how many visitors should be allowed on each beach, and enforcing those limits will be the job of local police. The law will remain in force until a vaccine and effective treatment of the virus’s symptoms have been released. The opening is part of an extended plan to restart the damaged local economy and is focused on the region’s hospitality sector.

Other measures include forcing all owners of tourist-focused premises to undertake cleaning and disinfecting by means of microbiological treatment using ozone to ensure all traces of the virus are removed. Cleaning must be done daily and certified before hotels, bars and restaurants will be allowed to open.

Andalusia is a favourite with both British expatriates and tourists, but it remains to be seen whether this year’s tourist season will happen, as the economic effects of the pandemic are likely to result in potential visitors as well as resident expats not having enough spare cash for holidays or meals out. Given the sterling exchange rate at present and even more uncertainty as regards Brexit, expat retirees on the meagre UK state pension may be hard hit and unable to spend.
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