The bathing season, which officially begun this week, will be somewhat different to what we’ve been used to. Last Tuesday the National Institute of Public Health finally announced the new preventive measures that managers of pools, beaches and seawater areas will have to implement. Concerns have been raised that the requirements for social distancing will be difficult to put into practice.
According to the new pandemic prevention regulations, 1.5m social distance should be kept among visitors on shore, and 2m in water. Only members of the same household can sunbathe or swim in groups.
Some of the measures taken to ensure social distancing on the central beach of Portorož are floor markings, warning signs and greater distance between umbrellas, explained Jana Pines from Piran Environment for RTV Slovenia. Furthermore, she explained, contact surfaces such as toilets will be regularly disinfected, for which they will need more staff than they planned. Most difficulties, however, are expected with regard to keeping visitors at the requested social distance, especially in the sea, “where it is practically impossible to verify whether swimmers come from the same household or not”.
Duško Madžarović, the director of the Koper Public Sports Institute, which manages the swimming pool in Žusterna, also pointed to this problem. In a statement for RTV Slovenia he emphasized that staff do not have the authority to ask for the guests’ identity to find out whether they are from the same household or not.