Concerns about overcrowding on the beaches – Fears of a second wave of pandemics

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Beaches are becoming a number one problem for European governments as lifting the lockdown is the busiest part of the city.

The thermometer has already risen and the citizens after two months of confinement have the desire for fun, relaxation and especially summer excursions to the sea.

A few days ago, the European Union presented a detailed plan for the way we vacation, which included recommendations for the opening of internal borders, road, air and ferry travel, as well as measures to boost tourism.

However, the initial optimism for a smooth return to normalcy even on the beaches quickly gave way to reflection, as in some cases there were setbacks.

Concerns about overcrowding on the beaches - Fears of a second wave of pandemics

As he states CNN report, On Wednesday, although some 24 hours had passed since the lifting of restrictions, the Morbihan region in France announced that it would close five beaches again after visitors failed to comply with the measures.

In the same context, the Zeeland region in the Netherlands, which closes the streets every weekend until June 1, in order not to violate the social distance measures.

Great fears in Britain as well, as the authorities fear that due to the holiday on Monday, the seaside resorts will be filled, but also in Barcelona, ​​which have recommendations to keep time.

“Yes” in the summer, but on condition

Travel analyst Tony Johnston told CNN that as the summer season approaches, governments need to prepare specific strategies for high attendance at tourist beaches.

“Either this weekend or in mid-July it will definitely happen at some point. It is inevitable that the weather will warm up in all countries and then the problem will be in front of us, “said Johnston, head of the hospitality, tourism and leisure department at the Athlone Institute of Technology.

He stressed that closing recreation and resort areas would make the problem even greater and the only solution would be to encourage proper behavior of bathers.

Concerns about overcrowding on the beaches - Fears of a second wave of pandemics

Local authorities in some countries have already begun to set guidelines on how to reopen busy beaches.

In Spain, Tourism Minister Reyes Maroto told El Pais that the country was “considering various scenarios” for bathers. “We have to guarantee that when tourism opens, anyone who comes to Spain will be safe,” he said.

Officials in the northern Canadian city of Canet d’en Berenguer say they will allow a maximum of 5,000 bathers on the local beach – almost half of the usual traffic.

Authorities in French resorts such as the Nouvelle Aquitaine region have vowed to open the beaches only for “dynamic individual physical activities”.

Johnston also said that with so many countries and regions based on tourism, such as France, Italy, Spain and Greece, the authorities should encourage safe tourism by implementing public health promotion policies such as toilets and the restaurants.

“About 330 million people work in tourism. It will be a great challenge for tourists to be satisfied with the data created by the pandemic “.

Behavior change is necessary

As temperatures rise, experts worry that people are beginning to ignore the rules of social distance. A study by the College of London found that less than 50% of respondents under the age of 30 fully complied with the emergency measures.

Concerns about overcrowding on the beaches - Fears of a second wave of pandemics

Susan Mitsy, a professor of health psychology at UCL, explains that based on data from the world’s leading quarantines, the lack of compliance is often due to boredom, anger, depression or anxiety.

“If you look at it from a psychological point of view, the transmission of the virus takes place mainly indoors, not outdoors. So outdoors are considered relatively safe, “he said, adding that the better the weather, the more people will prefer the outdoors.

In order to comply with the guidelines for social distance, there must be a high level of concern for covid 19 and trust in the authorities, he stressed. Governments need to be clear, precise and consistent with their message this summer.

The risk of a second wave

The daily death toll from coronavirus has dropped in many European countries, but experts warn that Europe is in danger of the second wave of accidents if the situation is not properly managed.

British professor Paul Hunter emphasizes that the risk of transmitting the virus outdoors remains small, but encourages the observance of social distance and hygiene measures, such as regular hand washing.

Concerns about overcrowding on the beaches - Fears of a second wave of pandemics

The risk of transmitting the virus will depend on how many people visit the popular tourist destination and how they move there, he said.

“If we see an increase in crashes and people are crammed like sardines on beaches or in shops and bars in tourist areas, the risk is relatively high,” he said.

The danger is that as we reopen, at the same time we are moving towards the second wave of the pandemic, he added.

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