Busy Barcelona beaches on first weekend of permitted bathing
Several beaches near the limit set by authorities, but very far from usual June
Barcelona beaches were busy throughout Saturday, the first weekend day when recreational bathing was permitted after restrictions have been progressively lifted.
Some of them reached the limit set by the local council, and most of them were close to the cap.
The council calculates the free space available and the capacity of each beach in real-time with the use of video sensors that record the volume of people.
This information is translated into a 'traffic light' system for each beach that can be consulted on the City Council's website in real-time (along with the quality of the water) and indicates whether the capacity level is low, medium, high, or very high.
On Saturday, some beaches were labeled as 'high', with the color orange – for instance, at 4.30pm CET, eight out of the ten sections were 'orange', but at 5pm two of them reached the 'very high' status, Bogatell and Nova Icària. Soon afterwards, Llevant and Mar Bella beaches also reached the cap.
Accesses to the four sites were closed at that time as local servants and police officers made efforts to redistribute people along the shore.
Yet, despite the 'high' and 'very high' capacity taking into account the limits set, the images of busy, but not crowded, beaches in central Barcelona is absolutely unusual of mid-June – the fact that tourists are generally still not allowed has contributed to the unique circumstance, although this can change from July, when some mobility restrictions will be lifted.
Throughout the day, signs and loudspeakers reminded visitors that safety measures have to be respected, as well as a distance of two meters between groups.
Barcelona beaches are now open, but will remain closed for Sant Joan's eve, the night of June 23.