FAQs about beaches

  • View of Barcelona's coastline

Accessing the beaches

A new system with videosensors means capacity warnings and occupancy maps can be created to help distribute bathers accordingly. Use the map to check the occupancy level at each beach.

The 2020 summer bathing season in Barcelona coincides with the lockdown exit process for Covid-19 and includes special measures to control capacity at the beaches and guarantee the necessary safety distance.

Can I swim in the sea?

Yes, the beaches in Barcelona are now open for the season, meaning users can swim, sunbathe and do sport, respecting the 1.5-metre safety distance at all times.

Remember that there must be a 6-metre gap between the water's edge and the first sunbathing towels, in order to guarantee access for the emergency services, and space for bathers to walk.

Do the beaches have rescue and lifesaving services?

Yes, now that the season has started, the rescue and lifeguard services have been activated from 10:30 am to 7:30 pm.

Can I do sport at the beach?

As beaches are an outside space, you can do sport there providing you keep a safe distance from others and avoid crowds.

Volleyball courts are open for authorised use at all times and three areas are available for users to freely engage in other sports activities at the Nova Icària, Bogatell and Mar Bella beaches from 10 am to 6 pm. All beaches are open for any type of sports activity from 6 pm onwards.

Respect these areas to ensure space for everyone on the beaches. Check the areas here.

What condition will the beaches be in?

Following health authority recommendations, with the shared aim of limiting the propagation of Covid-19, Barcelona City Council suspended repair work and more urgent operations needed on the city's beaches after Storm Gloria, which damaged establishments on the seafront, beach signposting, the loudspeaker system and information panels, among other things.

The Ministry is continuing its infrastructure-repair work (groynes, embankments, etc.,) during the resumption stage and this will involve vehicles having to travel through beach access points. Further information

Work is also continuing on repairing and replacing urban furniture, including showers, benches and walkways, carried out by the Barcelona Metropolitan Area.

Are there any rules on special uses for the beaches?

Protection measures against Covid-19 are still needed to ensure the health of bathers.

All this means atypical rules on the use of the beaches are being applied, which must be respected, focusing coastal management on compliance with safety measures, the most important being to respect the 1.5-metre distance. In this respect, Order SND/445/2020, of 26 May, amending Order SND/ 271/2020, of 19 March, in article 46, section 5, allows municipal councils to limit access and control capacities to guarantee safety measures.

What control protocols on volumes of people and maximum capacities has the City Council designed?

The City Council has designed a protocol to control volumes of people, with a maximum capacity for each beach. The protocol was created with agreement from all stakeholders in the management of the beaches, based on the experience and knowledge of the City Council and the municipal survey which it conducts every two years to gauge the use of the beaches and assess their services.

This knowledge has allowed the City Council to establish that users need an average of between 6 and 9 square metres of space to ensure the 1.5-metre safety distance. This is based on survey results which show that 40% of beachgoers go alone, while 60% go in groups.

Usage patterns also tell us that the busiest beaches are the western ones (Sant Sebastià, Sant Miquel, Barceloneta and Somorrostro), and that at weekends, from Thursday afternoon onwards, the density of users goes up.

Capacity at Barcelona’s beaches has been reduced by 15% to further strengthen the measures to contain Covid-19. As a result, numbers will be regulated based on a maximum occupancy of 32,000 people, rather than the figure of 38,000 used until 21 July. The decision was taken in coordination with the rest of the metropolitan municipalities with beaches affected by the containment measures to prevent Covid-19 infections.

Accessing the beaches

A new system with videosensors means capacity warnings and occupancy maps can be created to help distribute bathers accordingly. Use the map to check the occupancy level at each beach.

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