Spain holiday warning as tourists face new beach fines this summer

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

The Catalan capital has become the first major city in Spain to ban smoking on all of its beaches.

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Barcelona has become the first major city in Spain to ban smoking on all of its beachesCredit: Getty

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

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

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

Eloi Badia, a Barcelona adviser, said: “Last year nobody was fined.

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“Everyone fully understood the situation and only the distracted smoker had to be asked to head out for the walk.”

Barcelona council chiefs say they 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 ban on smoking in public places to terraces and beaches.

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

The country’s health ministry also wants to drive up the price of tobacco through additional taxes.

The number of beaches where smoking is prohibited in Spain has increased from around 15 in the summer of 2014 to around 550 currently.

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

Smoking is also banned on around 25% of the beaches on the Costa Blanca, although fines are not frequently imposed on those who light up.

Exceptions include Finestrat Cove, a sandy urban cove around two miles from Benidorm, where fines for smoking and vaping can reach around £630.

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

There are many more too, including how much you can drink and what places you can wear.

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

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The ten beaches affected by the new rule cover just over three miles of coastlineCredit: Alamy
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