Spain’s government last week approved a temporary law which increased the minimum temperature that air conditioning units may be set to, from 26C to 27C. It will come into force on Wednesday.
Yesterday, Spanish tourism minister Reyes Maroto confirmed that the rule would apply to hotel common areas, but not to individual hotel rooms.
She added that public transport, bars and restaurants, and “venues which require physical exercise, would be allowed to lower temperatures to 25C.
It’s part of a package of energy-saving measures demanded by the EU in order to reduce reliance on Russian oil and gas. Yet, some travel industry figures called for it to be scrapped or postponed amid fears it could impact summer tourism.
The new rules were announced shortly after a heatwave in which Spain saw top temperatures of 45 and 46C in some regions, with wildfires breaking out in parts of the country.
Spain has never had a month as hot as July 2022 in more than six decades, the national weather office AEMET said on Monday.
The writer behind blog Mallorca Under the Sun, Alexandra Smith, told the Irish Mirror she had received worried messages from regular visitors to Spain.
“The new ruling will apply to public buildings. It will mean these public spaces will not be able to have their air-conditioning below 27C, and in some cases, 25C and street lights will be dimmed in an attempt to create a 25 per cent saving on the demand for energy.
“I can’t believe how many messages I have received about this issue from worried holidaymakers. To confirm, if your hotel room, apartment or villa does have air conditioning, then you will be able to use it.”
Another heatwave is forecast for Spain in the coming days, with temperatures set to rise above 40C once again.
Yesterday it emerged that olive oil prices could rise by up to 25 per cent as heatwaves hamper production in Spain, according to a local exporter.
The warning comes as droughts on the continent also threaten to send prices soaring for French and Swiss cheese.
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