Spain’s ‘war of the beach umbrellas’ heats up

Yet another Spanish coastal town is declaring war on 'beach-hoggers' who stake their claim early on the sandy shores.

Spain's 'war of the beach umbrellas' heats up
Almuñécar beach. Photo: Herber/Wikimedia Commons.

The town of Almuñécar on Spain’s southern Costa Tropical is warning its citizens to end the practice of waking up at the crack of dawn to lay claim to their own spot on the sand, only to abandon their umbrellas for hours before returning, according to Ideal.

This habit has been irritating tourists as well as locals, who are referred to as sexitanos.

READ MORE: ‘Sexitano’ sports club banned on Facebook for sexy name

So in order to avoid a ‘war of the umbrellas,’ the town council has decided to start shutting abandoned umbrellas, sealing them up with yellow bands that include information about the current ban in place on such practices.

The measure does not entail a fine or penalty, but the town hall hopes it can be used to inform people about proper beach etiquette.

The town also hopes to see whether people will actually behave differently after the use of the yellow markers. If not, officials may start removing umbrellas next week.

Police are patrolling between 10am and 10:30am, as well as between 3:30pm and 4pm.

If police decide to start removing the umbrellas, the owners will have to retrieve them and pay a fee of around €30.

“We have to end this. There are locals who pay their cleaners to put up their umbrellas early and there could be thousands of umbrellas placed through the summer illegally,” said Almuñécar beach councilman Luis Aragón to Ideal.

The sexitano officials are certainly not the first to try to end the war of umbrellas. A man visiting the El Cura beach of Torrevieja along the Costa Blanca earlier this year was fined €150 for having left his umbrella behind.

And last year the Costa del Sol town of Torrox outlawed the practice of 'reserving' a desirable spot on the sand by laying out unattended towels and beach umbrellas.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


US to end Covid testing requirement for travellers from Europe

Authorities in the USA have announced the end of the Covid-testing requirement for arrivals from Europe, meaning that fully vaccinated people will soon be able to travel between Europe and the US without needing pre-travel tests.

US to end Covid testing requirement for travellers from Europe

Most of Europe had dropped the testing requirement for fully-vaccinated arrivals in the spring, but the US has maintained the requirement to show proof of a negative test for all arrivals.

However on Friday, the Biden administration announced that it would not renew the testing requirement.

The new rule is expected to come into effect at 12.01 Sunday EDT, until then passengers will still need to show a negative Covid test before they can board a plane to the US.

The US currently bars unvaccinated travellers from entry – although this does not apply to US citizens, US residents or those travelling for essential reasons – there was no announcement on lifting this restriction. 

The CDC said that testing requirements could be reinstated if new variants of Covid emerge, and added that it continues to recommend pre-travel testing. 

Covid travel rules vary between individual countries in Europe, but most countries now only require pre-departure tests for unvaccinated travellers. Check the rules of the country you are travelling to for full details. 

To be counted as ‘fully vaccinated’ travellers must have received both doses of an EMA-approved vaccine – Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca (or a single dose of Janssen).

If their vaccination was more than nine months ago, they need a booster shot in order to be considered fully vaccinated – people who have had a booster do not need a second, even if their booster shot was more than nine months ago.