Do’s and don’ts on Spain beach: Peeing on sand can land you in big trouble

In an effort to improve the quality of its famous beaches, the Spain’s Marbella city council announced a series of measures at the end of May.
The most striking proposal was a €750 ($809.75 USD) fine for individuals caught engaging in “physiological evacuations” (both bowel movements and urination) on the beach or in the sea.
Those who repeatedly violate the rule could face even steeper penalties, with fines reaching up to €1500 ($1619.50 USD) for multiple offenses within a year.
The vaguely phrased bylaw quickly became a topic of confusion, mockery, and extensive media coverage. A council spokesman clarified to The Guardian that the fine is only applicable to those caught relieving themselves on the beach itself, not in the water.
“The bylaw does not impose a sanction for peeing in the sea. It will not be applicable. The bylaw regulates possible anti-social infractions on the beach, just as any such acts are regulated in any public space such as on the city’s streets,” a spokesperson for the city council clarified.
The local authorities have proposed new regulations that would make it illegal for individuals to urinate on the beach or into the water from the shore. However, those who are already swimming in the ocean will not be subject to any fines under these rules.
Apart from urination, the proposed regulations also aim to curb other “anti-social” behaviours, such as playing loud music, engaging in disruptive ball games, and reserving areas with parasols. These rules are designed to maintain a pleasant and respectful environment for all beachgoers.
While smokers and vapers will not be directly affected by these regulations, those who litter cigarette butts or food scraps will face fines. Additionally, dogs will not be allowed to swim in the sea and must remain on designated dog-friendly beaches to ensure the safety and comfort of other visitors.
The city council has given its approval to this new initiative, which could result in fines of up to €750 ($809.75 USD) for offenders across 25 beaches within the city’s boundaries. The decision, made on June 21st, is an effort to mitigate the environmental impact caused by the large number of tourists visiting during the peak season.


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