Marbella enforces night-time curfew on beaches to stop parties and gatherings as coronavirus cases rise

MARBELLA is closing all of its beaches between 9.30pm and 7am every day as Spain steps up safety restrictions to try and halt the spread of coronavirus.

The decision was announced today by the local council and comes into force on Tuesday.

The authority says the new timescale will continue "indefinitely" or until the evolution of the coronavirus pandemic allows a reversal.

Spain has reported 358,843 cases of Covid-19, with the country being placed on the UK quarantine list on July 26.

With scorching heat in Spain and space restrictions on beaches, thousands of people are already sunbathing as early as 6am and are still out as the sun goes down because of the warm temperatures.

But Marbella council says it has to restrict the hours because of the constant outbreaks of coronavirus across the Costal del Sol and its holiday resorts.

Speaking on behalf of Ángeles Muñoz, Marbella's mayor, municipal spokesman, Félix Romero said of the additional measure: "Our goal is to prevent social gatherings, such as parties and barbecues, which could pose a risk to public health and a focus on possible outbreaks."

The local police have been asked to step up patrols and will be responsible for making sure the new times are adhered to.

Sunbathers will be given an extra half an hour to tidy up and go home by 10pm.

Calling on tourists and locals to show responsibility,  Félix Romero added: "Although today the situation is controlled from the health point of view, it is necessary to take measures to slow the progress of the virus."

The council says it understands people love going to the beach but it cannot risk parties and big gatherings which used to be the norm before the pandemic.

"It is clear that on the beaches, as anywhere, there is always a level of risk, but in a party environment, the risk is much higher. With this measure we want to ensure that this situation is avoided this year as much as possible. "

It follows the pool party ban in Majorca and Ibiza as well as Spain's ban on smoking outdoors and compulsory wearing of face masks in public.

Holidaymakers in Majorca and Ibiza are being blamed for the spike in coronavirus cases in Germany and Italy.

Germany has issued a blanket warning against travel to Spain amid concerns that tourists returning from "party" holidays are causing a rise in the infection rate.

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