HOLIDAYMAKERS who head back to the Costa del Sol once the main thrust of the coronavirus crisis is over will be served by waiters wearing masks and gloves and menus will be a thing of the past.
Tourism chiefs say they are already working on extensive safety precautions in the popular resorts along the coast which include Malaga, Marbella, Estepona, Fuengirola, Torremolinos and Mijas, all hot favourites with the Brits.
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Beach beds and umbrellas are likely to be scrapped so there is more room on the beaches to allow sunbathers to “self distance” themselves in a bid to prevent any resurgence of the deadly virus.
President of the Association of Beach Entrepreneurs of the Costa del Sol, Manuel Villafaina said they were waiting for the Spanish Government to establish security protocols and to announce when beaches would reopen.
He told Sur.es: “There is no instruction other than the declaration to maintain the distances that we will abide by without any problem. Security will be a priority for the sector and we will do what they tell us.
“We are prepared but until now they have not told us anything because it is not known when the beaches are going to open or if there will be people on them.”
However, various measures are already being prepared.
Menus on beach bars will disappear as they are considered germ carriers as they are passed from customer to customer.
Instead, diners will be sent details of the menu on their mobile phones and they can then give their orders to waiters who will wear protective masks and gloves.
Every customer will have to wash their hands with gel and all tables and chairs will be disinfected every day.
Manual Villafaina said: “I insist that safety is a priority and we are going to do everything necessary, we have to have a safe destination in health matters because the model has changed and the tourist is looking for security.”
Tourism leaders in Marbella say they don’t see a problem with self distancing in beach clubs, hotel complees, restaurants, tourist areas and the beaches themselves because “our resort is very spacious, which will make it easy to maintain safety distances”.
All of the country’s beaches are currently off-limits to everyone, as is swimming in the sea, under the Spanish Government’s March 14th State of Emergency rules which will last well into May at the earliest.
Minister of Tourism, Reyes Maroto says even after the regulations are lifted, tourists will have to keep their distance for a while, not just within the resorts and hotels but on the beaches as well.
From the Spanish Government’s stance, it has not yet been announced how social distancing on the beaches would be reinforced.
Brits returning to Spain after the coronavirus pandemic could see themselves benefiting from a beer price war though.
Bar owners have been boasting about slashing prices for a pint of lager across the Costa Del Sol and Costa Blanca, as bars fight to attract business following the lockdown.
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The war of words between the two popular stretches of coastline came after a Benidorm bar owner suggested that beer could be sold for as little as 50p in the town’s bars once tourism restarts.
Local bar owner Mark Sutherland, who owns a beachfront business on the Costa Del Sol’s Fuengirola told Euro Weekly News: “Bring it on. Firstly why would someone want to go to Benidorm when they can have some extra class on the Costa del Sol, [but] if it’s down to cheap beer, we can also look at playing that game.”
Tourists are not expected to return until after the peak season, with June and July unlikely to see the re-opening of any resorts or establishments.
It follows the warning from EU chief Ursula Von der Leyen who advised people against making any summer holiday plans in Europe due to the uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic effects.
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