ANDALUCIA is to ask permission from Madrid to open its beaches from May 25, two weeks ahead of schedule.
The southernmost region wants to open up its coastline when it enters Phase 2 of the coronavirus deescalation plan, as opposed to the planned Phase 3 (June 8).
Spokesman Elias Bendodo told press today that it will also demand that chiringuitos (beach bars) be exempt from paying their ‘canon’ tax for 2020.
Bendodo cited the importance of the tourism sector for Andalucia, where it accounts for 12% of regional GDP and 13% of employment.
He ensured the opening of the beaches would carry a full host of security measures, including the enforcing of social distancing.
Other measures will see security-controlled access and exit points, capacity limits, sifting of the sand each morning, strict opening and closing times and removal of mattresses from sunbeds (people will have to bring their own towels).
As for the chiringuitos, the removal of their special ‘canon’ tax will save them €10 million. Andalucia also wants their concessions to be extended by another year.
The region will also request to lower VAT from 10% to 4% in the tourism sector until the end of the year to help businesses suffering from cash flow problems.