BEACH surveillance officers in Spain’s Andalucia have reported more than 26,000 incidents during the first weekend of July.

Some 8,000 incidents were registered in the coastal municipalities of Malaga alone.

The numbers were cited on Monday by Elias Bendodo, Minister of the Presidency, Public Administration and Interior of the Andalucian Government.

It comes after 3000 Beach surveillance officers were hired by the Junta’s ‘unemployment plan for safe beaches 2020.’

Their role is to ensure the safety of bathers, watch over access points and capacity control and supervise social distancing, with any incidents to be reported to the Policia Local.

The high numbers of reported infringements on Andalucian beaches has prompted Bendodo to call for ‘responsible tourism’ from both visitors and Andalucians citizens.

‘’It’s fundamental for Andalucia to maintain its image as a safe region for tourists,” he said.

Andalucia, with as investement of €34.5 million, boasts to have the ‘safest beaches in Spain’ this summer. But the responsible use of spaces is necessary for the safety measures to be effective.

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Elias Bendodo during the presentation of the Andalucian Plan for Safe Beaches

Included in the Junta’s plan to ensure beach safety across the autonomous community, beaches have been classified in three categories: free (open to access), at risk (you can access with limitations) or prohibited (closed).

55 beaches in Andalucia—29 in the province of Malaga—were forced to close over the first weekend after reaching maximum capacity.

“We all want to go to the beach but we must do so responsibly,” Bendodo said.

“Andalucians have to be the first to comply with the beach safety rules,”

“We can’t give the virus a second’s respite, we can’t relax. We have to remain alert and act with responsibility, following what the health authority dictates,” he said.

Bendodo said that the opening of national and international mobility is crucial as it reactivates the local economy, Andalucia’s main source of income and wealth.

But it must be combined with ‘responsible tourism, both for visitors and for the Andalucians themselves,’ he said.

There are currently 13 outbreaks in Andalucia. Seven of which are considered ‘controlled.’

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