Portugal’s bathing season, which officially started last weekend with mainly warm weather and sunny skies, will be allowed to run until October 15 – within this time frame, each local council is free to decide on the start and end dates.
The announcement was made by the Ministry of Environment last Friday, reported Lusa news agency.
While Saturday, May 15 marked the first day of the official bathing season, the majority of municipalities are planning to start on Saturday, June 12, environment minister João Matos Fernandes said in parliament.
Covid-19 beach restrictions are again in place this year, with the ministry confirming that authorities will be fining anyone who disrespects the rules.
Fines will range from €50 to €100 for individuals, and €500 and €1,000 for companies.
As Jornal de Notícias reported, maritime police will be fining people who do not wear a mask when entering the beach, walking on boardwalks, and accessing beach restaurants or public toilets (click here).
Beach concessions will also face fines if they fail to clean and sanitise their spaces and equipment regularly, JN said.
Meanwhile, beachgoers belonging to different groups will be required to keep a 1.5-metre distance from each other, and a three-metre distance between beach umbrellas/sunbeds.
Sports activities involving two or more people are also not allowed except water sports such as surfing.
Changes have also been made to the “beach traffic-light system”, which was implemented last year.
Green lights will now be on at beaches that are at half of their total capacity; yellow lights will be used for beaches at 50% to 90% of their capacity; and red lights at beaches above 90% of their capacity.
By MICHAEL BRUXO