With temperatures of around 30 degrees, both on the beach of São Pedro do Estoril and in the neighboring Avencas, the influx of bathers surpassed what could be desirable taking into account the Government's recommendations on access to beaches in times of pandemic.
The physical distance between users must be 1.5 meters and between parasols, awnings or thatches of three meters, but it was not the scenario that the Lusa agency's report saw earlier today, during the tide. filled with sand the beaches become even smaller.
Although the Government has scheduled the opening of the bathing period for June 6, you can go to the beach, after the resolution of the Council of Ministers that extends the declaration of the situation of calamity, in the scope of the pandemic of the disease covid-19, dated of May 17th.
Today, the beach was full and you could see families walking by the sea, bathers sharing a bottle of beer, groups of friends who were joined by others arriving at the beach and even dogs playing on the beach.
Some still tried to distance themselves, but taking into account the available space, it was difficult for the panorama not to be almost on top of the neighboring towel.
José was sitting on the wall watching the sea at São Pedro do Estoril beach and the horde of group surfers waiting to catch the best wave. He told Lusa that at the weekend he doesn't go down to the beach, the beach “is small”, he acknowledged.
“I come several times, I live nearby. (Today) I come for a walk, but I'm not going to dive, not yet, not today. At the weekend I don't like going to the water ”, he explained, and looking at the beach, he added that when the tide is full, as was the case,“ there is little space ”.
Pedro Hubert spoke at the end of the beach, while the family was shaking the sand, and said that today was not his first day, explaining that the fact of living close by gives him the possibility to escape to the beach.
“I have already come a few times to take a dip, to get some air. So far, I think that people have behaved well, they have respected them, even on other days, ”he said, adding that if people stay“ an hour or two and give way to others, things are going well ”.
The swimmer recognizes that, until now, he has felt “safe” when visiting the beach, although people can cross paths more in certain areas, such as in the access, where he usually puts on his mask.
“For the time being there has been respect, with the increase in heat I don't know, but it is important to continue to be careful”, he advised.
Paulo Mendes came to the beach for the second time today and acknowledged to Lusa that he was “somewhat afraid of what he saw in the news”, stressing that “if it continues like this it is not bad”.
“When yesterday (Friday) I was surprised by the positive, most people are respecting, of course there are exceptions, but there are those who have the sensitivity to respect distances and even wear a mask”, he said, adding that if someone approaches without a mask, he is the first to walk away.
“I am attentive”, he acknowledged, explaining that trying to be careful, and today, when the tide started to fill and people saw that the space started to get tight, they moved away and left the beach.
Sancho de Mascarenhas observes the sandy beach of Avencas beach before going down the stairs. He admitted that the beach he usually frequents during the bathing season may not be ideal this year.
“The beach is small for the conditions that are imposing it is not the best, but for me it is tradition, I come anyway, if I think it is too crowded, I will not stay, but in terms of size it is small and not the best for the height ”, he explained.
Teresa Alves uses the access from Avencas beach to go down to the left side of the beach, which gives access to the rock area. He referred to Lusa who walks but a little to stay on the rocks of Parede as it is an area that is not very frequented ,.
“I am more comfortable, there is less group of people. Children and elderly people do not go there. I am there for a while, while I feel good, it serves me as therapy ”, he said, recognizing that when more people start arriving, he will leave.
This is the third time he has come to the beach, and the day he stayed the longest, adding, also, that he was the day he met more people “in groups and mixed with each other”.
According to the deconfiguration plan and during the bathing season, the use of the beach sand “sports activities with two or more people are prohibited, except nautical activities, surf lessons and similar sports”.
On Thursday, the Minister for the Environment assured that “access to the beach is free” and that the red light, which can be placed, is a warning, but does not prevent people from entering, although “repeated non-compliance” can lead closure.
In the briefing of the Council of Ministers, the Minister of Environment and Climate Action, João Pedro Matos Fernandes, was asked about the rules of access to beaches due to the covid-19 pandemic during the bathing season.
What will become clear in the decree-law that has not yet been published, according to Matos Fernandes, is that “in the event of repeated failure”, that is, “one, two, three days in a row” in which the capacity of the own the beach is outdated, “for reasons of public health only, that beach may be closed”.
The minister insisted, on several occasions, that “access to the beach is free”, but “it must be done safely.
“The risk of contagion on a beach is the same as that of any other place in the public space. There is no added risk, ”he said.
Portugal accounts for 1,302 deaths associated with covid-19 in 30,471 confirmed cases of infection, according to the latest daily bulletin from the Directorate-General for Health (DGS) on the pandemic.
Portugal entered on May 3 in a calamity situation due to the pandemic, after three consecutive periods in a state of emergency since March 19.
RCP // LIL
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