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Italy's beaches face uncertain summer season

Italians give plexiglass beach boxes the thumbs down.

This summer Italy's beaches are expected to look a lot different, thanks to the social distancing required due to the coronavirus pandemic, but what exactly this new beach experience will entail is - for now - anybody's guess.

However, once restrictions are lifted and Italy enters "Phase Two" of the coronavirus emergency, one thing is certain: Italy's beach establishments will have to reduce their numbers significantly.

A recent proposal involving plexiglass boxes on the beach was rubbished by lifeguards in Rimini and went down like a lead balloon among Italian beachgoers.

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Now new "testing" is underway at beaches in the southern Puglia region where the goal is to "save summer" from an economic point of view as well as coming up with a solution that ensures the safety of holidaymakers.

The Lido Bacino Grande in Porto Cesareo is proposing 10-sqm areas of sand, with a beach umbrella in the middle and demarcated with "security ropes" which allow a distance of at least one metre between each sun lounger.

The extra space required by each unit would see a 40 per cent reduction in the number of umbrellas on beaches, the president of Cna Balneari Puglia, Giuseppe Mancarella, told Italian news agency ANSA.

The idea of "anti-virus stewards" to patrol beaches ensuring that people are respecting social distancing has also been suggested by Paolo Prudente, the head of the town council in Vieste, a coastal resort in Puglia.

With the summer holiday season fast approaching, owners of Italian beach establishments say they require clear indications from the government and regional authorities as soon as possible regarding regulations affecting their sector.

Photo TGcom24

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