Benidorm beaches reopen with new rules on flip flops and distanced sunbathing

British expats soaked up the sun on Benidorm’s beaches as restrictions lifted for the first time in three months.

Coastlines looked a lot different post lockdown as they were far less crowded than they’d typically be in the middle of June.

Those who did venture out took precautions, with some wearing face masks while out in public.

Other sunbathers were split into two metre square boxes, which allowed them to relax while adhering to social distancing guidelines.

Stewards were on hand to direct beachgoers to the right spots – and also made sure they were wearing flip flops as footwear is now mandatory on access stairs and ramps.

Some of the measures have been put in place until reservation policies are rolled out in the summer.

Many of these rules are a part of the tourist destinations safety plan, known as Benidorm Beach Safety.

In these guidelines, Levante and Poniente beaches have been divided into 20 sectors.

Of these, 12 are “open access” and can cater for up to four people.

Other areas, which are marked in green, have been set aside for over 70s.

Meanwhile, eight sectors are in the process of getting new sunbeds and safety measures implemented.

Officials hope the two beaches will be able to cater to 26,066 people safely when the tourist season peaks.

Benidorm mayor Toni Perez said: “We’re making sure people can enjoy the beach as they’ve always done knowing that these public spaces are protected.

“It’s a very versatile system. Benidorm is here today to say to the world that it can manage beaches of this size which are capable of giving enjoyment to thousands of people.”

For now, it’s only expats and Spaniards who are on Benidorm’s beaches.

But from next Monday, Spain is opening up its borders to British tourists again.

While the government is still warning against “all but essential travel”, it’s likely some will jet off as soon as they can.

Toni Perez hopes reopening the borders will help to rebuild industry.

He added: “The opening up of the borders will enable us to climb this great slope we have fallen down because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Benidorm’s Poniente and Levante beaches can cater for around 40,000 people normally when they’re at their busiest.

“With the new system we’re going to be able to cater for more than 25,000 users.

“And with the new technology we’re going to be introducing means people will able to enjoy their designated area on the beach and if they wish to leave, that same spot can be occupied by someone else.

“That will enable us to cater for a level of people that no other urban beach with the characteristics of Benidorm can.”

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