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Sun, sea and squares…. Benidorm divvies up beach for sunbathing at a distance

Strung out: Beachgoers sunbathe in roped-off squares of Benidorm’s Poniente beach to enforce social distancing PICTURE: AFP

SPAIN is once again a British holiday hotspot as it reopened for tourists yesterday amid forecasts of 40C sun.

But travellers face severely limited numbers on beaches and in pools.

In Benidorm, tourists are being told to book their spot on the sand online or at on-site stands. Those not opting for a beach bar sunbed will have to stay within one of 5,000 13ft x 13ft squares marked on the resort’s famous Poniente and Levante beaches — colour-coded blue for general use or red for the over-70s.

One resident told the local paper: ‘Paying £9 you get a sunbed and a sunshade. If not you get put in a square like a pig.’ Expat Lisa Browning, 35, from Gillingham, Kent, added: ‘Children want to play with other kids. Being stuck inside a square on the sand is ridiculous.’

Ryanair reopened a small number of flights to Malaga and Alicante yesterday. After fears of a tit-for-tat quarantine rule for Britons, Spain confirmed no self-isolation will be imposed, though temperatures are being taken as tourists arrive.

In Andalucia, measures include a halving of numbers in hotel swimming pools and the closure of children’s play areas. Asturias is placing a limit on beach time and in the Balearic Islands nightspots which cater for 300 will not be open.