2020 has changed the way we travel for a while. Portugal is a country with a coast of unique beauty and it is part of the culture that during the warm months the Portuguese take holidays by the beach, but also take advantage of their free time to enjoy the long sunny days. Starting this year, we will have to get used to the new rules on the beach due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Portuguese Government, together with the health authorities, has already decided that the opening of the bathing season will be on the 6th of June and what rules we will all have to adopt. Distance between vacationers, rules for huts, the prohibition of collective sports on the beach, mandatory hand disinfection, and a sign of occupation of the beach, are some of the measures that we will have to adopt and will see in practice during the coming times.
Many of us still don’t know if it is safe to do certain activities in our lives, and going to the beach is one of them. Of course, now we are always thinking about where and how it is possible to get COVID-19.
Is it possible to get COVID-19 on the beach?
According to the official information available at this time, you can contract COVID-19 if you are exposed, by direct contact, to respiratory secretions (coughing and sneezing) from an infected person or, by indirect contact, through droplets expelled to surfaces. Thus, on trips to the beach, the same principles apply, so it is important to continue to promote and respect the rules defined by the DGS:
- Physical distancing;
- Frequent hand washing;
- Respiratory cares;
- Cleaning and sanitizing spaces;
- Use of a mask or visor, when required.
For this reason, the authorities, together with the competent entities, are preparing accesses and support equipment on the beaches, defining mechanisms of articulation between the different intervening entities, and disseminating good practices, preventive measures, and beach rules.
Water quality will continue to be monitored as usual, and there are currently no recommendations for making changes to the monitoring process. Fecal microbial indicators that assess contamination and consequently the risk to public health will continue to be monitored.
But what are the beach rules in Portugal for 2020?
Beach Rules in Portugal in 2020
Use of the Beach
It is recommended a physical distance of 1.5 meters between users who are not part of the same group and 3 meters between sun hats
Sports activities with 2 or more people are prohibited (except nautical activities, surf lessons or similar sports)
Each group can only rent in the morning (until 1:30 pm) or in the afternoon (from 2:00 pm) and a distance of 3 meters between huts and 1.5 meters between the limits is recommended. A limit of 5 people per hut is also established.
There will be a Green sign indicating that only 1/3 of the beach is occupied, Yellow indicating 2/3 occupation and Red indicating full occupation of the beach. This information will be available and updated continuously on the ‘Info Praia’ app and on the APA page. Parking is also prohibited outside the parks and areas designated for this purpose.
Download the app Info Praia
There will be a single direction of circulation with a distance of 1.5 meters, with circulation corridors parallel and perpendicular to the coastline.
Bars, Terraces and Restaurants
Daily, the spaces are required to clean the facilities a minimum of 4 times, and their capacity may not exceed that defined for the catering sector.
All vendors will be required to wear a protective mask and visor when in contact with customers, and their circulation should be done with due distance and preferably through the circulation corridors.
The use of pedaloes, slides or indoor showers is prohibited. Outdoor showers, sun loungers, mattresses, or beach ashtrays must be cleaned daily or whenever a user changes.
Avoid access to the beach when the capacity is high or full. Proceed with the regular disinfection of the hands (obligatorily on arrival at the beach), always ensuring physical distance both on the beach and in the sea.
The Validity of Beach Rules
Knowledge and information about COVID-19 are constantly evolving and it is normal for recommendations to adapt to the needs over time. Any information in this post is not binding and does not replace any recommendation or standard from official entities. Therefore, you should consult the communication channels of the Portuguese authorities:
The content of this publication was written based on the information available on June 18, 2020, which is non-binding and does not dispense or replace the official information of the competent authorities.
These are the beach rules in Portugal for 2020, in this pandemic moment, but in addition, common sense and general rules of conduct continue to apply.
The authorities are expected to enforce these rules, both on concessioned beaches and on others, however, it is also expected that we will all be agents of supervising ourselves to have a better experience in this “new normal” and we should not spoil the experience for others to be enjoying their moment on the beach.
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