Across the Algarve, beaches are officially closing due to the coronavirus pandemic. The move is a way of preventing group gatherings in public spaces.
Lagoa and Lagos were the first municipalities in the region to cut off access to their beaches on Friday, followed by Loulé and Portimão on Saturday and by Albufeira on Sunday, with other boroughs likely to follow suit.
In a statement to the press, Albufeira Council said that car parks near beaches are being “monitored” by police forces and urged citizens to follow the national health board’s recommendations and stay home to contain the spread of the virus.
The beaches that have been closed to the public are Galé Oeste, Galé, Evaristo, Castelo, S. Rafael, Arrifes, Santa Eulália, Maria Luísa, Olhos de Água and Barranco.
In Lagoa, the measure was implemented after cases of non-compliance were being reported daily. It aims to “dissuade the population from going out for walks in areas where groups tend to gather”.
As the local council points out, it has extended its state of alert until the end of April at a time when two people in Lagoa have already died from Covid-19.
The list of “off-limit” beaches includes Carvoeiro, Paraíso, Vale Centeanes, Carvalho, Benagil and Marinha.
Further west in Lagos, the beach ban will be in place for an “indefinite period” in areas which have been identified as most likely for groups to form.
In Loulé, access has been cut off to Trafal, Loulé Velho and Almargem beaches as well as to the car parks of Garrão Nascente, Vale do Lobo, Quinta do Lago, Dunas Douradas and Ancão beaches in Almancil and Passeio das Dunas in Quarteira.
Meantime, Portimão has cut off access to eight kilometres of beaches and coastal areas in the municipality – including parts of Alvor – after also detecting many cases of non-compliance.
Police forces have also increased their road checks at the town’s entrances in order to prevent people who aren’t from Portimão from entering and who are not respecting overriding pleas from all authorities to stay home.
According to the latest data available on Monday morning (March 30), there were 108 confirmed cases of Covid-19 infection in the Algarve and three deaths.