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'Phase 2' will bring beach and pool reopening
18 May 2020 @ 19:01

PARTS of Spain may be able to enter into 'Phase 2' of recovery within another week or two, and if the current warm weather holds out, will at last be able to go to the beach and use the pool.

Although some beaches opened exclusively for watersports for those living within less than a kilometre before 'Phase 0' came into action, they remain off limits for walking, swimming or sunbathing and for anyone who has to travel more than a kilometre to reach them.

This is not the case on the Balearic island of Formentera or in the Canary islands of El Hierro, La Gomera and La Graciosa, however, since all of these have been on 'Phase 2' since this morning (Monday).

Swimming pools, whether they are public ones or communal facilities on urbanisations, will be able to be used with 'Phase 2' as long as a maximum of 30% of the usually permitted number of bathers are in them at any one time, and all swimmers must keep two metres away from each other, except in the case of people who live in the same household.

It is likely that bathers will have to reserve a slot, or be given a maximum time in the water, to prevent some people from hogging the pool and others not getting a look-in.

Where it is not possible to stay two metres apart when a pool's maximum capacity is at 30%, this percentage will be reduced further until physical distancing can be adhered to.

Disinfecting and thorough cleaning will be required at the beginning and end of every day, and throughout the day for enclosed spaces such as toilets or changing rooms.

All other equipment and materials, such as lane-dividers, ticket booths and equipment used for swimming classes must be disinfected before and after use.

The types of disinfectant required are contained with Annex V of EU regulation 528/2012 of May 22, and include bleach diluted on a 1:50 ratio immediately before application.

Health authorities will expect pool staff to pay particular attention to parts which are regularly touched by members of the public – door handles and hand-rails, for example – which must be disinfected three times a day at least.

Beaches will not necessarily require 'shifts', although Galicia has announced it may organise a 'bathing rota' in some of its much smaller coves.

The main requirement is that bathers keep two metres apart - meaning scenes like in the above photograph, of Ibiza's Platja d'En Bossa, will become a thing of the past - and regularly wash their hands.

Groups of any size will be allowed if they all live in the same household, but otherwise, are limited to 15 – which will be the case with all meetings between people during 'Phase 2'.

Sports on beaches will have to involve physical distancing and must be individual in nature – meaning tennis or informal bat-and-ball games will probably be permitted, but volleyball, for example, may not.

Toilets, on beaches or at swimming pools, must 'guarantee constant levels of cleanliness and hygiene' and 'always have soap and/or hand-sanitiser and toilet paper available' – requirements which, it is hoped, will stay in place indefinitely – and only one person is allowed in a cubicle at a time, unless the user needs physical assistance, when a carer or assistant is also permitted entry.



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