Algarve councils want to hire private security guards to monitor beaches

The Algarve’s beaches could be patrolled this summer by private security guards.

According to Público newspaper, the idea has already been pitched to the government by the mayors as an answer to the lack of police resources to monitor every beach in the Algarve.

It is still unclear how authorities will control the number of people allowed on beaches at any one time.

Environment minister João Matos Fernandes said last weekend that a “manual of procedures” for the upcoming bathing season is being created and could be completed by the end of this week, although none of the measures that are being considered are definitive.

“It’s a complex task,” the minister told Expresso newspaper.

Many ideas are on the table, such as using ropes to mark how far beachgoers should stay from each other, setting up squares in the sand to show beachgoers where to set up their umbrella, installing sensors at beach entrances or using drones to control how many people are on the beach at the same time, setting a time limit for how long beachgoers are allowed to remain on the beach or hoisting different coloured flags to indicate when the beach is becoming overcrowded.

Around 50 entities from across Portugal are said to have already pitched their ideas to the government.

The bathing season is set to begin on June 1.

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