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Barcelona beaches: access control and limited capacity

Barcelona City Hall instals sensors and cameras to detect capacity of city beaches and has a website to check on them

Jan Fleischer
Written by
Erica Aspas
Jan Fleischer

Barcelona is set to enter Phase 2 on Monday, June 8, and summer fun, such as it can be in 2020, is already starting to take shape at Barcelona's beaches. According to the councillor for Climate Emergency, Eloi Badia, this summer is all about limited capacity and access control to the beaches.

So what's the plan exactly? The City Council aims to control the amount of visitors to the beaches, which cannot exceed 38,000 people in total, with video sensors located in the twin Mapfre towers – and installed along the entire coastline – that will detect when the maximum number of beach-goers has been reached. At that time, the 15 access points along the entire seafront will no longer allow anyone else to enter and the beaches will be closed with physical barriers.

The City Council anticipates big crowds heading mostly to the beaches in the Old City (Barceloneta, Sant Miquel, Somorrostro and Sant Sebastià) before mid-July. The closure systems are set to be installed there on the weekend of June 13 and 14, although they could be extended to others if necessary.

A change of habits

To avoid the disappointment and headache of heading to the beach only to be turned away, or getting into any risky situations, Badia has recommended responsibility and planning; that is, check the Barcelona beach website about the state of the beach you want to go to before setting out. You'll see a set of four indicators that tell you whether the capacity of your chosen destination is very low, low, medium or high. In the event that there are queues to enter the beaches, older people will have preference.

You'll also find information points spread out along the beach line, where some 13 to 22 assistants, and members of the Guàrdia Urbana police, can give you instructions and information, and ensure that regulations are being respected. 

The dog beach opens on June 11, also with access regulations, and only animals with a chip will be allowed in.

Services on the beaches

Lifeguards head back to work; showers are for individual use only, and will be outside the perimeter of the beach – that is, you'll shower off after going outside the access points; there will also be public toilets at each beach. The Beach Centre remains closed for now, as do assisted swimming services and breakwaters. What will be open are three specific areas for sports on the beach that at the Nova Icària, Bogatell and Mar Bella beaches, which you can use only between 10am and 6pm. Outside of this timetable, you can do exercise and sports anywhere, always keeping a safe distance, and if it is a group sport, like football or volleyball, there must be no physical contact.

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