Spain holiday warning as tourists face new fines at beaches this summer

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TOURISTS who smoke on any of Barcelona’s 10 beaches now face fines after a ban on lighting up on the sand was approved.

The Catalan capital has now become Spain’s first large city to outlaw smoking on all its beaches.

The move marks the end of a plan which began last year with a pilot scheme banning smoking on four beaches – Sant Miquel, Somorrostro, Nova Icaria and Nova Marbella.

Sunbathers who flout the new restrictions have been warned they will be fined £25, although council chiefs say they don’t expect to have to sanction people for lighting up.

The ten beaches affected by the new rule cover just over three miles of coastline.

Eloi Badia, a Barcelona councillor, said: “Last year no one was fined.

“Everyone understood the situation perfectly and only the odd absent-minded smoker had to be asked to move on to the promenade.”

Barcelona council chiefs say they have extended the ban for health reasons and to appease the majority of beach users and point to scientific evidence showing cigarette butts take around a decade to disappear.

The Spanish government has proposed measures to extend the current prohibition on smoking in public places to include terraces and beaches.

But the ambitious new anti-smoking law being worked on, which is also expected to include a ban on lighting up in private cars, is not expected to be fully drafted until 2023.

The country’s Health Ministry also wants to push up the price of tobacco through extra taxes.

The number of beaches where smoking is banned in Spain has jumped from around 15 in the summer of 2014 to around 550 at present.

They include 13 beaches in the Malaga province stretch of the Costa del Sol and seven in Majorca.

Smoking is also banned on around 25 per cent of the Costa Blanca’s beaches, although fines are not frequently handed out to those who light up.

The exceptions include Finestrat Cove, an urban cove of fine sand around two miles from Benidorm, where fines for smoking and vaping can reach around £630.

Spain has also introduced other regulations that could affect Brits hoping to holiday there this summer, including this rule about how much money you need to enter the country.

There are plenty of others too, including how much you can drink and what you can wear in certain places.

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