Monster fines face anyone flouting Portugal’s Covid rules for Nazaré’s monster waves

Five weeks since authorities pulled the plugs on surfing at ‘monster wave beach’ Praia do Norte in Nazaré, daredevil enthusiasts are being allowed back – but only on weekdays and in the mornings. Anyone ‘disrespecting’ the Covid-led rules could be liable for fines that run from €2,200 to €3,700

It is all part of the plan to keep onlookers away – and thus ‘safe’ from the risk of contracting Covid-19 in outdoor conditions where the wind is invariably blowing hard.

The flagrant “disrespect of the rules of social distancing” by a multitude that turned up to watch the incredible feats of sportsmanship at the end of October brought everything to a juddering halt on November 4 right as practice runs were starting for the Nazaré Tow Surfing Challenge, an event linked to World Surf League, which extends to March 31 2021 (click here).

Mayor Walter Chicarro said at the time that he sincerely hoped the ban would be short lived, bearing in mind the economic importance to the town of the international surfing fraternity. But it was not to be. It took over five weeks.

Now at least surf legends can get back out on their boards – as long as it’s ‘anytime from sun-up to 1pm’.

The council’s decree, published on December 10 warns that anyone disrespecting the rules will be liable to fines under paragraph a) of clause 1 of article 4 of Decreto-Lei nº 45/2002 – establishing fines applicable in areas under the jurisdiction of the Portuguese Maritime Authority (click here).

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com