Why your holiday abroad could be anything but relaxing with spy drones, beach cordons and speakers barking orders – The Sun

A RELAXING beach get-away now faces being blighted by drones, cordons and speakers barking out social distancing orders.

The coronavirus pandemic has meant tough new measures have to be installed at holiday resorts to prevent the threat of the destinations becoming hotbeds for outbreaks.

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Holidaymakers face being ushered behind plexiglass dividers, restricted to table service to avoid beach bar queues, and banned from gathering in large groups.

Outbreaks in resorts could lead to the virus spreading across the world again as the infected tourists pile back onto planes and travel through airports.

It is likely holidaymakers are facing very secluded trips with little interaction between travellers as the hard-hit tourism industry tries to get going again.

Tough measures will also remain in place at airports including on the spot temperatures screenings on top of already strict security.

Speakers blaring out orders could also be seen on some beaches, with Wildwood, New Jersey, in the US expected to have a PA system reminding people keep their distance every 15 minutes.

Countries such as Spain and Italy, two of the countries hardest-hit by the bug, will look to use technology such as an app that will show how busy beaches are and drones fitted with sensors to keep people apart to prevent outbreaks.

And earlier this month, holiday giant TUI revealed drastic changes to package holidays – including mandatory masks on planes, closed nightclubs and banned football games.


Spanish beaches will introduce new measures ahead of the summer season to stop the spread of coronavirus – with plans to open up to tourists from July 1.

With more than 279,000 cases and with over 27,000 deaths, the Spanish government had originally indicated that people wouldn't be able to use the beaches again until the last and final phase of the lockdown.

However, health ministers brought the new measure forward and have set out rules keeping couples or groups at least two metres apart or to find some other physical protection measure if this is not possible.

Groups on beaches can be no bigger than 15 people.

All personal objects, such as towels, must remain within your assigned two-metre space on the beach.

Holidaymakers must also avoid contact with other beachgoers – with masks having to be worn if other people are near-by.

Strict cleaning regulations will also be put in place as well as a ban being placed on toilets and showers.

Apart from these set rules, resorts and autonomous communities will be able to make their own arrangements when reopening beaches to eager tourists.

A number of regions have already finalised their beach plans which will include making appointments in advance.

Drones and sensors will also let people know if there is any space left on the beach, providing an app to check if it's worth turning up using a traffic light system.

Smart lampposts fitted with artificial intelligence are being set up alongside the beach of Fuengirola in the Costa del Sol to detect the number of visitors.

This will then feed back the info to holidaymaker's phones if they have installed the app.

Also in the Costa del Sol, an army of 3,000 beach assistants is being recruited to make sure tourists obey social distancing guidelines.

They will also be on hand to tackle overcrowding along with beach lifeguards and the police.

Few, if any, are using glass boxes or panels due to the expense, most are relying on umbrellas, marks in the sand or ropes to divide up the beach.

Previously beaches had only remained open for exercise and a ban was placed on swimming, but visitors will be able to enjoy beaches, only if they are following the rules.


Italy, another of the countries worst hit by coronavirus, is also looking into new rules to keep tourists safe while visiting beaches and resorts.

The death toll in the country currently stands at just over 30,000 after it was dubbed as Europe's virus epicentre as it begins to make its way out of the crisis.

A region in Italy has drawn up plans for beach-goers to use "plexiglass boxes" while relaxing on the beach to reduce the spread of the virus.

The new designs, created by Nuova Neon Group Due, will have two-metre high walls while being 4.5m wide and visitors will be made to sit inside them when visiting the beach.

Images show rows of the boxes that the country could use as "phase two" of its reopening as local media dubbed the dividers as chicken coops'.

Puglia, a region in the southeast of Italy, has also been testing some of the social distancing measures ahead of holidaymakers returning to the country.

Dubbed the "Caribbean" of Italy, Porto Cesareo has already put 1.5m distances between seating and sun-loungers, as well as used ropes to cordon off areas for social distancing.

Fabrizio Marzano, the owner of seaside resort Bacino Grande in the region, told Euronews: "The little ropes we see are simply to give an idea of the space, of what it could be, to respect the safety of all the people who go to the beach, for all the tourists."

He also added that resorts and food service is likely to change as well, he explained: "For example, there can be no queues at the bar, as this would mean that people would be too close to each other.

"So we will have to give the customer who wants a sandwich, a pizza, a Coca-Cola, the possibility to bring it to them to their beach umbrella."


Post coronavirus beaches could also only be accessed by certain members of the public in a bid to keep numbers down.

In Belgium, the reopening of its beach has caused a stir after its mayors argued over who should have priority access to them.

Some 18 mayors from coastal towns requested that the owners of second homes be granted permission to use beaches after the government planned to only reopen to locals.

The costal city of Ostend also announced that it would implement a reservation system for the busiest stretch of beaches.

With many locals unable to travel abroad it is expected that they will hit domestic shorelines.

Mayor Bart Tommelein suggested the idea of beach passes – warning it will become an "ants nest" without them.

The reservation system would give priority to locals, second homeowners and hotel guests.

Other less crowded beaches however would have free access.

Daphné Dumery, the mayor of Blankenberge, 12 miles north of Ostend, questioned how this system would be manned.

She said: "Are we going to have to put gates at the entrance to the beaches? If a train full of vacationers arrives, will I have to send them home?

"Do I need to hire new police to deal with this?"

Léopold Lippens, the mayor of Knokke-Heist, said "either the beaches are open or they are closed" as he dismissed the idea of the passes.


In the Netherlands, a handful of beach bars on the Dutch coast unpacked their sunbeds and started serving cocktails as temperatures soared this week.

However, the authorities stepped in to warn them to stop until June 1 or face steep fines.

Bartjan van den Beukel, who works at beach club Breez, near The Hague, told Reuters: "It’s confusing because some cities allowed people to rent beach beds and others prohibited it.

"So it is difficult to know what you can and cannot do."

Dutch restaurants, including those on the beach, will also only be allowed to accept online table reservations and will then have to check clients for Covid-19.

He said: "You can ask people how they feel, but we’re not doctors, so for us its not easy to see if someone is sick or not."

"And how many times do they need to cough or sneeze before you say, 'you need to leave'?"

Dutch beaches remained open during the country’s “smart” lockdown.

Restaurants were allowed to serve takeaway, but not to rent out beach beds or allow customers inside.

It comes as campsites in the UK reported a 60 per cent surge in bookings this summer as many Brits opt for a "staycation".

Jonathan Knight, founder and CEO of Cool Camping, said: "Booking revenues have increased 5-fold since Boris Johnson set out the phased approach to easing lockdown, compared to previous weeks, so there is clearly a pent-up demand to get away."

He added that families were desperate to get holidays going this year without needing to navigate airports or quarantine restrictions.

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