Thursday, July 25, 2024

Brits face £600 fine in holiday hotspot if they break astonishing beach rule

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Since the 1970s, Spain has benefitted enormously from the influx of tourists from across Europe – and in particular the UK – who have flocked to enjoy its warm climate, vibrant nightlife, and long sandy beaches.

But in recent years the Spanish have grown disenchanted with some of there visitors – with protests against holidaymakers in a number of tourist hotspots. 

And now a new, and seemingly unenforceable rule, has been added to Spain’s growing list of beach regulations. Peeing in the sea is now banned in Marbella, with a fine of €750 (about £630) for rule breakers. The penalty can be doubled for repeat offenders.

Beachgoers asked about the new rule by a Spanish TV news team were baffled: “Who’s going to find out?” asked one man, who admitted to regularly breaking the rule, “the jellyfish?” Another person was equally bemused: “Are there going to be police officers on the lookout? I just don’t get it.”

Another interviewee speculated that police would be issued with masks and snorkels to help them maintain constant underwater surveillance: “I can already see the police agents in the sea approaching the bathers and saying ‘the water around you is warm, you have p****d, now pay the fine’.” A fellow beachgoer asked if children would be subjected to the rule, or if the fish were also to be fined.

There’s a surprising range of rules on Spanish beaches. A little way up the coast from Marbella, the ever-popular Benidorm has its own seafront regulations.

Among them are rules against drinking alcohol on the beach, which could cost you €750 (£641), having sex on the beach, which carries the same penalty, and apparently much worse is smoking on the beach, which cost you a whopping €2,000 (£1711).

On a more positive note, urinating in the sea off Benidorm is more reasonably priced than in Marbella, setting you back just €150 (£128).

In Marbella, locals are sceptical that the rule could ever be enforced. One wryly commented: “It was hard to beat, but Marbella’s politicians have done it. They are going to fine all bathers who pee in the sea.

“The local policeman will approach and from the shore will ask loudly who is pissing and ask them to raise their hand. He will then take out his notebook and write down the fine, two in this case, one for urinating and the other for not having an ID card on you.”

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