Beaches and bathing areas in the Azores – good practices for summer 2020

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The Azores are surrounded by the ocean, and the Azorean people love the ocean. No wonder that in summer the beaches and bathing beaches in the Azores gather larger crowds than many post-season sales. Here in the summer, water is your life. As simple as that.

And because we have the situation that we have, many wise people were thinking about this year’s bathing season. How to make the use of beaches and bathing areas safe and the risk of developing a pandemic – minimal. There is no scientific evidence that the SARS-CoV-2 virus lives in seawater, sand or on the surface of rocks. Nevertheless, a set of good practices was developed for implementation on beaches and bathing areas in the Azores.

What makes good practices on beaches and bathing areas in the Azores?

General good practices

General good practices, i.e. good practices that apply everywhere. Read: breathing etiquette (when coughing or sneezing, it’s in the sleeve, not in the face of the interlocutor), frequent washing and disinfecting hands, using masks when necessary (e.g. when you go to a beach bar), disinfecting space and surfaces (it’s bathing areas managers, not you, taking care of this part.)

Appropriate distances

The distance between sun umbrellas should be at least 3 meters, and between people – 1.5 meters (unless people belong to the same group). Distances should also be kept in water. Goodbye, salt water drops just because someone swimming next to you is splashing so much!

Sport activities on the beaches and bathing areas are prohibited

Sports activities and any other activities that may lead to contact or reduce the distance between people are prohibited on beaches and bathing areas in the Azores.

Surfing and other water sports lessons are allowed provided that there are no more than 5 students per instructor and that everyone maintains a minimum distance of 1.5 m.

Individual water sports are allowed, but with a minimum distance of 1.5 m eventually, individual is individual!) And the above general good practices.

Traffic corridors

Azores beaches and bathing areas are usually small. However, on those that are possible, i.e. on larger ones, you will see separate entrances and exits, and traffic corridors. It can happen that if a beach has one entrance, then it will be divided into two directions of movement. Like on a street. And if this is not the case, then you will have to wear a mask on this path.

Traffic corridors will also apply to beach bars and sanitary facilities whenever possible.

Hand hygiene

This year, on the beaches and bathing beaches of the Azores you’ll find hand disinfectant gels and hand soap (well, hand soap not only this year). Use them. You can also be sure that bathrooms and toilets will be cleaned even more often than up to now. If it’s not possible to regularly clean and sanitize them, they will be closed.

Information on the density of people on the beach or bathing area

This year, you will see additional flags on many beaches and bathing beaches in the Azores. They will inform you about the density of people there. The form of presenting that information is not standarized, but flags are a highly likely solution. It’s possible that they will be green, yellow and red, as in mainland Portugal. However, each beach or bathing area can use its own signs.

Short stay

And something a bit less pleasant. Because many beaches and bathing beaches in the Azores are, let’s say, very small, you may be asked to stay on them shorter than normally. Nobody will throw you out of the beach, but it’s about good manners. So that everyone has a chance to go to that beach.I tutaj moja wskazówka. Na Azorach tylko 20% plaż jest piaszczystych, ale za to są one zazwyczaj większe niż naturalne baseny skalne czy wycementowane kąpieliska. Jeśli macie ochotę na dzień nad wodą, po prostu wybierzcie plażę piaszczystą (oczywiście jeśli na wyspie, którą odwiedzacie, taka istnieje). Na niej będziecie mogli wylegiwać się o wiele dłużej!

75 bathing areas in the Azores

In Azores this year you can choose from 75 guarded beaches and bathing areas. The water quality is regularly checked and sand will be tested regularly as well. As means of prevention. The bathing season on each of the beaches and bathing areas is slightly different. The longest this year will be on Ilhéu de Vila Franca do Campo. It will be possible to swim there under the lifeguard’s supervision until October 14.

Enjoy water and sunbathing

We are responsible for ouselves and for each other. So let’s enjoy the ocean and sunbathing, because it’s worth it. Just wisely. But with joy. There’s enough of the ocean in the Azores for all of us!

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Source of information: website of the Government of the Azores

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