OPIUM beach club in Marbella has been forced to close after failing to comply with COVID-19 restrictions.

Policia Nacional were first called to the venue on Wednesday when a customer refused to put on a mask at the entrance.

Policia Local then performed a spot check inside the club and found that social distancing was not being enforced.

The owners, admitting they could not bring the crowds under control, removed revellers from the club in stages.

Municipal sources told Diario Sur that the club had respected capacity limits.

Opium said in a statement on social media that it will re-open once it has implemented new COVID-19 protocols.

The venue features swimming pools, a restaurant, live performance and beach areas.

It comes as Marbella has announced it will not allow for themed or end-of-season parties at beach or pool clubs.

Government spokesman Felix Romero said: “They will be able to maintain their usual activity as long as they comply with security and opening hours requirements, such as groups no larger than 10, social distancing and closing their doors at 1am.”

Romero added that since the implementation of Marbella’s COVID-19 strategy from June 22, a total of 574 inspections have been carried out on establishments.

Some 13 sanctions have been issued for staying open too late while another 47 have been issued for failing to meet capacity and social distancing requirements.

Meanwhile, 429 fines have been sent to the courts for people failing to comply with face mask regulations.

There have also been 135 multas for so-called botellones, which sees young people drinking alcohol in large groups on the street. There were 105 such fines handed out last year.

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