Mariana Vieira da Silva explained that this scheme did not apply in 2020 because when the decree-law on beaches was approved there was still no regime of administrative offences foreseen.

"This was approved after the approval of the decree-law on beaches. Therefore, this regime of administrative offences, which is provided for non-compliance with a set of rules that we have in the Covid area, is also applied" to the rules relating to beaches, he clarified, adding that monitoring will be the responsibility of the Maritime Police.

Jornal de Notícias reported, citing "the draft decree-law approved in the Council of Ministers on 6 May," that there will be fines of between 50 and 100 Euros for those not wearing masks at the access to beaches, restaurants, changing rooms and promenades, as well as for those who are attending a beach that is overcrowded.

The JN also advanced that concessionaires will also be subject to heavier fines, with fines ranging from 500 to 1,000 Euros, if they fail to sanitize and clean their equipment or do not display, in a visible place, the rules for bathers.

During the press conference, Mariana Vieira da Silva reiterated what she had already said last week regarding the places where it is or is not mandatory to wear a mask.

"Just like last year, it is not necessary to wear a mask on the beach and it is necessary to wear a mask in the accesses to the beach, in the accesses to the cafes and restaurants, in the restaurants and in the bathrooms. These are the same rules that were in place a year ago," he said.

One of the changes in relation to last year, added the Minister of the Presidency, is related to the system of traffic lights at the entrance of the beaches, regarding their occupation.

According to Mariana Vieira da Silva, the green colour will now indicate up to 50 percent occupancy, yellow between 50 percent and 90 percent, and red above 90 percent.

In 2020, the colour green indicated low occupancy (1/3), yellow high occupancy (2/3) and red full occupancy (3/3).

Last year it was determined that beach users should ensure a physical distance of 1.5 metres between different groups and three metres between parasols, canopies or canes.

The use of the beach area was forbidden to "sporting activities with two or more persons, except for water sports, surfing lessons and similar sports".

In awnings, thatches and beach huts, "as a rule, each person or group could only rent in the morning [until 1:30pm] or afternoon [from 2:00pm]", with a maximum of five users.

On 11 May, Environment Minister João Matos Fernandes revealed in parliament that most municipalities have decided to start the bathing season on 12 June, adding that the date will be published later this week.