Italy's beaches will be open but with strict rules

Social distancing will be key issue when Italy's beaches open for summer season.

Italy's beaches will be permitted to open this summer but under strict regulations to minimise the risk of coronavirus contagion, according to draft regulations reported by Italian news agency ANSA.

The rules, drafted by Italy's Higher Health Institute (ISS) and workplace accident insurance agency INAIL, outline numerous changes and precautions as the country faces into an uncertain summer season.

Numbers will be reduced to meet social distancing norms, with visitors obliged to book in advance "including for time periods during the day" and the recommendation of paying by card or online instead of using cash.

Swimming pools will be banned and any recreational or sporting activity that involves people gathering should be avoided, according to the guidelines.

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Social distancing will be a key issue, including the difficult task of making sure that children abide by the rules.

There must be a minimum distance of five metres between rows of sun umbrellas, and a 4.5-metre distance for those in the same row, reports ANSA.

Deck chairs and beach beds should be least two metres apart, however this will not apply to families or people who live together.

Likewise people should not share changing rooms, unless they are family members or living together, while social distancing will also apply to areas around toilets and showers.

Entry and exit points should be differentiated and clearly identified, including on free beaches, and all facilities must be sanitised before being allocated to the next beach-visitor, including during the same day.