British holidaymakers told to wear face masks on beaches in Portugal or risk €100 fine

Local media reports state that the decision to introduce fines will take effect from Wednesday

Face masks must be worn on the beach in Portugal
Face masks must be worn on the beach in Portugal

UK holidaymakers heading to Portugal who fail to wear a face mask on the beach, do not comply with social distancing, or play sport on busy sands could face a fine of up to €100 (£86), it has been reported.

While the wearing of face coverings is already mandatory upon entry and exit from beaches in Portugal - and while using shower and changing facilities - local media reports state that from Wednesday 19 May, Maritime Police will be cracking down on those who refuse to comply with local measures.

According to Jornal de Notícias, the decision to introduce fines was approved by the Council of Ministers last week.

It states that fines of between €50-100 (£43-86) will be issued to those who break the rules.

The publication states that face masks must be worn by tourists until their towel is placed on the beach.

The distance between towels and groups remains at 1.5 and 3 metres respectively.

Meanwhile, sports involving two or more people, such as volleyball, or involving rackets are forbidden if the beach is full.

Beach access signs must also be followed, and face masks must be worn while walking along promenades and in restaurants and cafés until visitors are seated.

Around 5,000 holidaymakers were estimated to make the journey from the UK to the Iberian peninsula and the Portuguese islands of Madeira and Porto Santo on 17 June: the first day international leisure travel was legal again in England.

Jetting off on a foreign holiday is now possible under a traffic light system, with countries classified as green, amber or red and prescribed restrictions to match based on the risk of arrivals importing new Covid-19 infections to the UK.

Only a handful of green list countries are open to UK travellers, however, including Portugal, Gibraltar and Iceland.

The government is currently advising that Brits should not be visiting amber or red countries for recreational purposes.

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