First day of walks permitted on Barcelona’s beaches

Many sunbathers weren’t prevented from laying on sand as some restrictions eased

Image of Barcelona's Sant Sebastià beach, on May 20, 2020 (by Cillian Shields)
Image of Barcelona's Sant Sebastià beach, on May 20, 2020 (by Cillian Shields) / Cillian Shields

Cillian Shields | Barcelona

May 20, 2020 11:52 AM

On Wednesday morning, the first walks and strolls were permitted on the sand of Barcelona’s beaches. Before now, only exercise was allowed, including swimming and surfing in the sea. 

Barcelona City Council eased restrictions slightly, allowing for people to stroll on the beaches, however, this decision was not given without confusion. Early on Tuesday, the council announced that sunbathers would not be prevented from relaxing on the sands, before performing a U-turn on this call just hours later. 

The scene at the beaches in Barceloneta suggested that many people may have heard the first announcement from the authorities, but not the second, as citizens flocked to the sands to bathe in the morning. 

Audio messages rang out from the loudspeakers at the facilities reminding people that sitting and relaxing was not permitted, only walks and exercise, but police on the scene did not prevent people from sunbathing. Hundreds of people were on the beaches at any given moment during the morning exercise time slots of 6-10 am. 

As well as the early morning exercise slots, the elderly and vulnerable as well as families with children are able to visit the beaches during their time slots to go out also.  

Viral video

On the other hand, the police did intervene at the spot where a video was taken that went viral earlier this week that showed a lot of people exercising in very close proximity, at patches of grass next to the beach close to the W hotel. 

This area was cordoned off by police tape. This measure, however, did nothing to stop people from exercising in all other areas surrounding the grass.