Nazaré beach, in the district of Leiria, has a potential occupancy capacity of up to 17,100 users, during the bathing season, and another six are marked with “possible capacity problems”, today announced the Portuguese Environment Agency (APA).
APA today published the capacities of the beaches of the Algarve and Tejo / Oeste regions, “taking into account that the 6th of June marks the beginning of the bathing season”, stating that the rest will be published soon, “considering the respective dates of opening”.
“These capacities are an important auxiliary for the management and safe use of beaches, as it is from these values that information can be given – to the citizen and to the authorities – in order to direct the appropriate behaviors, in a responsible way”, advances the APA, in a statement.
In the context of the covid-19 pandemic, the Government determined that the bathing season only begins this year on June 6, with APA being responsible for determining the capacity of the beaches.
In relation to the Tagus / West region, after Nazaré beach, the Fonte da Telha beach (I, II and III), with a capacity of 14,500 users, and the beach of Carcavelos, in the municipality of Cascais, with 12,100.
In the eastern Algarve, the two most crowded beaches are Monte Gordo, in the municipality of Vila Real de Santo António, and Faro, with a capacity of 12,600 bathers each.
In Barlavento, Praia da Rocha, in the municipality of Portimão, has a potential occupancy capacity of 8,800 people, the highest in the area, followed by Meia Praia Nascente, in the municipality of Lagos, with 8,700.
In the listings released today, the Portuguese Environment Agency indicates “potential stocking problems” on the beaches of Quarteira (municipality of Loulé), Faro (Faro), Monte Gordo (Vila Real de Santo António), Armação de (Silves) , from Armação de Pêra / Pescadores (Silves) and da Rocha (Portimão).
In 63 beaches, APA points out that the potential occupation capacity may rise, “considering the variation of the tide”. This is the case, for example, of São João da Caparica beach, in Almada, whose capacity could increase from 9,700 to 12,200.
“In a covid context, it is important to guarantee the safety distance, which may imply a reduction in the capacity for occupying the sand on certain beaches. However, on some beaches, particularly on large ones, the values now obtained may be higher than the capacity to load defined in the “Coastal Coastal Planning Plans / Coastal Coast Programs, taking into account” that, in the current conditions, users are more available to occupy an area of sand that exceeds the limits of comfort areas “, considered in those documents explains the APA.
In the case of “coastal and transitional waters”, the calculation of the capacity of each beach was determined through a combination of criteria such as “definition of the area of sand that can be used for bathing with as much depth as possible”, “the biophysical characteristics and safeguard strips to coastal risk “,” the lateral limit of the beaches “, the” influence of the tide “and the” use of an area of 8.5 m2 / person, considering the necessary physical distance for sanitary reasons “, among others.
As for “inland waters”, the area usable for bathing practice was defined “considering the extension of the front of the bathing area and a strip with the usable depth counted from the limit of the water plane”, being also considered “the surrounding spaces available for bathing use “, such as picnic parks, terraces, lawns, playgrounds and swimming pools with floating platforms.
During the bathing season of this year, from June 6, beach users must ensure a physical distance of 1.5 meters between different groups and a distance of three meters between parasols, awnings or stems, according to a decree-law approved by the Government.
In addition to the “physical safety distance between users when accessing and using the beach and bathing in the sea or in the river”, citizens must comply with respiratory etiquette measures and proceed with frequent hand cleaning, as well as “avoid access to areas identified with high or full occupation ”
Regarding the state of occupation of the beaches, there will be “traffic light type”, in which the green color indicates low occupation (1/3), yellow is high occupation (2/3) and red means full occupation (3/3) .
According to the Government, information on the state of occupation of the beaches will be “updated continuously, in real time”, namely in the InfoPraia application and on the APA website.