Beaches must have an information and security team to assess the implementation of measures

in News · 23-05-2020 12:53:00 · 0 Comments

The beaches must have an information and safety team, to facilitate the assessment of measures related to covid-19 and the articulation with concessionaires and other entities, says the manual on the bathing season, sent to city councils.

“If possible, namely in the bathing areas with greater affluence, promote the constitution of an information and safety team, which may be common to several bathing areas in a municipality, and which can facilitate the evaluation of the implementation of the measures and the articulation with the concessionaire and with the other entities", indicates the manual “Go to the beach safely".

After the Government announced that the bathing season may start from6 June, the city councils received a 34-page manual, which presents guidelines on the exceptional and temporary regime for the occupation and use of the beaches , in the context of the covid-19 pandemic, which applies to the continental territory, excluding the autonomous regions of the Azores and Madeira.

“It is necessary to reinvent the way in which beaches are safely enjoyed, emphasizing the need to maintain physical distance and basic sanitary measures, and at the same time guarantee bathers a sufficiently comfortable experience on the beach”, read the document.

In this sense, the safety of bathing areas "essentially depends on the ability to transmit to citizens that they must be the first to take care of their risk situation", so it is necessary to invest in awareness campaigns, through "dissemination intensive care” for the population to be cared for in these public spaces.

“In addition, police authorities, municipalities, and other elements, and means that may be involved, should promote actions that promote the adoption of these behaviours that minimize the risk of contagion”, proposes the manual “Go to the beach safely”, defending the articulation of all entities with competence to enhance the prevention and inspection actions in the bathing areas.

The document on the occupation and use of beaches, in the context of the pandemic covid-19, also foresees the possibility of “reinforcing monitoring” of the water quality of bathing areas, stating that “the warnings of advice and interdiction, due to changes in quality of water, will be made widely available and users must respect them now more than ever, to protect their health”.

"There is no recommendation to change the programmes for monitoring the water quality of bathing water because of the coronavirus, since the mentioned indicators are sufficient, and there may be a reinforcement of monitoring, particularly in inland waters", explains the manual, informing that the Portuguese Environment Agency (APA) conducts more than 6,500 analyzes each year and the results are available in real time on the InfoPraia application and on the website

Based on data from previous outbreaks of SARS - Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome and MERS - Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, scientists estimate that "there is a low risk of transmission of the virus that causes covid-19 disease through water," points out the manual, stating that it is also estimated that the risk of transmission through treated wastewater systems is low and “there are no studies to date on the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in the sand”.

Beach users must ensure a physical distance of 1.5 metres between different groups and a distance of three metres between parasols, awnings or stems, as of 6 June, determined the Government.

Regarding the state of occupation of the beaches, there will be “traffic light type signs”, in which the green colour indicates low occupation (1/3), yellow is high occupation (2/3) and red means full occupation (3/3) .

According to the Government, information on the state of occupation of the beaches will be “updated continuously, in real time”, namely in the InfoPraia application and on the APA website.

In addition to the access to the bathing area, measures are planned on the organization of the parking space, circulation on the crosswalks, seawall and marginal, sanitary facilities, waste management, street vending, bathing equipment, including amphibious chairs, seagulls, slides, showers and sunbeds, and the operation of beach supports and equipment, namely restaurants, terraces and picnic areas.

As for the first aid posts, they must have thermometers and individual protection equipment and have an area for the isolation of suspected cases of infection by covid-19, determines the exceptional and temporary regime for the occupation and use of the beaches, in the context of the covid-19 pandemic.

In this context, the Government foresees the possibility of banning the beach, “for reasons of public health protection, in the event of serious non-compliance with the rules by the concessionaires or by the users”.


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