Some Catalan beaches reopen for children – but each town decides
Barcelona may also grant access to shore soon "depending on how the next days unfold"
The easing of confinement for children this Sunday led to lots of people flocking to the streets, squares, boulevards… and even some beaches.
While the state of alarm did not include beaches among the places that can be traveled to on public roads, each local government in Catalonia is now deciding whether to grant access to them or not – the Catalan executive confirmed on Saturday that going to them was permitted, but then on Sunday it said it was up to each town to impose limits or ban their access altogether.
Yet, in the municipalities where beach-going is allowed, at least until May 2, kids and the adults accompanying them are the only ones that will be able to set their feet in the sand – although in following with current regulations, access to the beach will only be possible for families that live no further than a kilometer away from the coast.
The fact that each town is applying its own rules has led to some confusion among the general public because not only are some banning access while others are allowing it but because those who are granting it are doing it with their own set of regulations and restrictions.
For instance, Barcelona does not let anyone on the beach at all. Yet, this could change in the near future: "For the time being, nobody can go to parks, beaches or mountain areas. But depending on how the next days unfold, we will consider the possibility of granting access to these spaces," the mayor of the Catalan capital, Ada Colau, tweeted on Sunday.
Just north of Barcelona, for instance, in Badalona, the local council allows children and their adult companions to go to the beach, and on Sunday hundreds of people were seen walking or laying around on the sand.
Also on the central coast north of the capital, beaches like those in El Masnou saw hundreds head to the sand without any opposition from the authorities. On Monday, however, they asked the public to use it "responsibly." In the whole Maresme county, only its capital, Mataró, is still completely banning beach-going.
On the central coast, south of Barcelona, on the other hand, beach towns like Vilanova i la Geltrú and Sitges made clear it beach-going was not allowed, while others such as Castelldefels accepted it. All of the Garraf county beaches are still cordoned off.
In Tarragona, the largest city in southern Catalonia, local authorities had no problem with those going to the shore and dipping their feet in the sea – but people were not allowed to stop and lay in the sand.
In the northern Costa Brava area, some towns such as Sant Feliu de Guíxols or Lloret de Mar are also allowing their inhabitants to go to the beach for the first time in a month and a half.
Given the disparity in regulations, residents must check with their local councils to see if they can head to the sea or not.