The Malta Independent 14 July 2020, Tuesday

General public following social distancing norms on beaches as advised - MTA

Rebekah Cilia Thursday, 28 May 2020, 08:26 Last update: about 3 months ago

As more people flocked to beaches over the past couple of weekends, the Malta Tourism Authority told The Malta Independent that the general public is following the social distancing norms as advised.

Social distancing also applies on beaches, as advised by the national health authorities. The authorities have issued mandatory conditions for beaches, beach establishments and beach concessions. These requirements are a legal obligation.

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Those providing umbrellas and sun beds are required to disinfect them after each customer, and a two-metre distance in every direction between each umbrella and two sun bed unit must be kept.

The Ministry for Tourism and Consumer Protection is also carrying out daily cleaning of beaches, according to protocols that were established in agreement with the health authorities. These include the cleaning of beaches early in the morning, before the arrival of the first bathers, and sanitising bins several times a day.

Just a week ago, France reported that three towns will close their beaches, days after reopening following two months of coronavirus lockdown, saying too many visitors were not following social distancing rules.

France was not the only country to express its concern about over-crowding at beaches, with the Netherlands warning German tourists not to cross the border. America also made the news, as their death toll from the Coronavirus peaked at 100,000. However beaches were jam-packed with visitors over Memorial Day weekend.

Beach supervisors

On 21 May a call was issued by the MTA for the temporary engagement of beach supervisors. The MTA informed this newsroom that this is a regular call issued every summer. The Authority, however, said that the call documents note that "due to the current Covid-19 situation, operations, opening and closure of the beaches may vary according to instructions given by the Health Authorities.”

The duties of such supervisors include ensuring that restroom facilities are up to standard, ensuring recycle facilities are empty and that no unauthorised camping or driving is permitted on the beach being monitored.

“Due to the current Covid-19 situation, different duties from those listed above may be assigned. Such changes will be discussed with all the applicants beforehand,” the document also read.

 

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