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This Spanish beach has nailed socially-distant sunbathing

Individual roped-off areas could become a familiar sight on beaches around the world

Huw Oliver
Written by
Huw Oliver

Your next Spanish beach getaway is probably a while off yet. But we can guarantee that by the time you do go, those sandy stretches will be looking pretty different (and unusually empty).

One beach in north-west Spain is preparing for this summer’s influx of visitors with a plan to set up roped-off zones in a bid to maintain social distancing among beach-goers. When completed, the new arrangement at Silgar beach in Galicia will comprise 780 cuadrículas, which literally translates as ‘grids’. Each space will measure ten by ten feet, with a five-foot gap between each, and is intended for two adults (with one or two children also allowed).

There will be a long stretch by the sea for exercise and children’s play, while a corridor at the back will allow access to toilets and other facilities. The grid of squares will also be crossed by regular, wider passageways leading to the sea. 

Sunbathing squares in SpainPhotograph: Concello de Sanxenxo

Frankly, it’s a much more appealing solution to social distancing en la playa than the dystopian glass boxes one Italian design firm proposed last month

Once Silgar’s new arrangement is in place, beach capacity will be reduced to 50 to 75 percent of normal levels – meaning it’ll feel a lot quieter than in previous summers. The only catch: you won’t be able to book, so you’ll have to get up pretty early if you want to bag a spot. Race you down there!

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