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Beaches reopen as Spain emerges from coronavirus lockdown

A man sunbathes on the Can Pere Antoni beach in the Spanish city of Palma de Mallorca on 25 May 2020.
A man sunbathes on the Can Pere Antoni beach in the Spanish city of Palma de Mallorca on 25 May 2020. AFP
2 min

Spanish beaches have reopened as part of the government’s three-phase policy to ease the country out of a two-month shutdown which was aimed at stemming the spread of the coronavirus.

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Swimmers and sunbathers were on Monday allowed to return to shores on the Atlantic Ocean coast as well as on the Balearic and Canary Islands.

The Spanish health ministry said numbers of visitors on beaches should be limited and umbrellas placed four metres apart.

With travel between Spanish regions still forbidden and foreigners arriving in Spain needing 14 days of quarantine, only local residents will benefit from the relaxation. 

The Madrid and Barcelona regions - the most populated in the country - and a large part of Castile-Leon in the north-west moved into the first phase of their post lockdown lives.

Regional differences

The regions have run slightly behind the rest of the country as they bore the brunt of the pandemic in Spain, which has killed more than 28,700.  

Residents will be allowed meet in groups of up to 10 people in their homes or on the terraces of bars and restaurants. Parks will also be reopened and major museums will be able to receive a limited number of visitors.

Everyone must continue to wear a mask in buildings and on public streets when it is not possible to keep a distance of two metres.

"We've been open for 125 years and it's the first time we've ever had to close," said Daniel Real, manager of the San Gines coffee shop.

Famed for its churros and chocolate, only six of the 13 tables on the pavement outside had been arranged to ensure social distancing. Tables inside ares till off limits.

"Soon we'll go back to being open 24 hours a day like before,” Real added. “But for now we're not working nights as there are no tourists.”     

 

 

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