Majorca, Ibiza and Menorca impose strict smoking ban on beaches as Spain tightens rules

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“Smoke-free zones” are being put in place as part of efforts to create a clean, unpolluted space for beachgoers

Strict new rules will see holidaymakers banned from smoking on a swathe of beaches in the Balearic Islands in Spain.

“Smoke-free zones” are being rolled out as part of plans by the islands to improve people’s health and to create a clean, unpolluted space for beachgoers, free from cigarette butts.

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A total of 28 beaches in Majorca, Ibiza and Menorca will be implementing the new smoking ban, meaning visitors will not be allowed to light up on the sand. No fines will be issued to those who are caught smoking, as it is hoped that members of the public will act responsibly and respect the rules.

The beaches taking part in the scheme have four-metre banners declaring their smoke-free status, including QR codes linking to further information. Playa de Santa Eulalia del Río and Playa de Talamanca are among the smoke-free beaches in Ibiza, while in Menorca smoking is banned at Binissafúller and Platja Gran. In Majorca, beaches with smoking bans include Sant Joan, Sa Platgeta, Santa Ponsa, Cala Estància, Cala Sant Vicenç and Caló des Moro.

“Smoke-free zones” are being put in place on beaches in the Balearic Islands (Photo: Getty Images)“Smoke-free zones” are being put in place on beaches in the Balearic Islands (Photo: Getty Images)
“Smoke-free zones” are being put in place on beaches in the Balearic Islands (Photo: Getty Images) | AFP via Getty Images

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Health and Consumption said: “The objective of the campaign is to create a network of healthy beaches, understanding the Balearic coast as a playful space for the enjoyment of outdoor activities that enriches the health of the people who come, promoting smoke-free spaces.

“Today, tobacco use is one of the leading causes of preventable disease and death worldwide. Exposure to smoke from tobacco products has been shown to cause health problems similar to those caused by tobacco use.”

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The latest smoking crackdown comes following a similar move in Barcelona last year. Smoking is now banned on all beaches in the Spanish city in a bid to protect the environment.

But unlike the Balearic Islands, beachgoers who break the no smoking rule in Barcelona will be issued a fine. The new rules, which took effect on 1 July, mean tourists who light up on any of the beaches in the city will be issued a 30 euro (£25) fine.

The move came following a successful trial which helped to massively reduce the rubbish caused by smokers, including leaving cigarette butts on the beach. Barcelona was the first major city in Spain to ban smoking on beaches, but more than 100 Spanish beaches have since imposed bans.

What other rules do tourists face?

The smoking ban is just one of several strict rules being enforced in Spain. At all Spanish beach showers, it is illegal to wash with soap and shampoo because the products are harmful to marine life - and those who do can be fined up to £620.

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Holidaymakers who go nude on a non-nudist beach could also be issued with a £620 fine, while in Majorca, 11 seaside restaurants have banned tourists from wearing certain clothes associated with “drunken tourism”.

In these restaurants, mostly in the Playa de Palma, shirtless, costumed or football-jersey-clad holidaymakers will no longer be allowed entry, according to Juan Miguel Ferrer, the chief executive of Palma Beach. Swimwear, trunks and novelty accessories bought from roadside vendors are also said to be banned.

Many parts of Spain have also clamped down on people being inappropriately dressed on public streets, with authorities dishing out fines to men walking around with no shirts on, or women only wearing bikinis or swimwear on the seafront promenade or the adjacent streets, according to travel advice issued by the UK government.

In Barcelona, people can only wear bikinis on the beach and those caught wearing one in the town centre could face a fine of up to £260. Bikinis are also restricted to beaches in Majorca, with fines of up to £500 for those who flout the rules. The rules also apply to shirtless men in both areas.

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City leaders in the city of Vigo, in north-western Spain’s Galicia region, have ruled also that urinating “in the sea or on the beach” is now a punishable offence. The city council has branded public urination a “minor infraction” and “an infringement of hygiene and sanitary regulations”.

Under the new rules, anyone who is caught relieving themselves could be hit with a fine up to £640 (€750). To combat the habit, the council said it plans to install public toilets on beaches during the peak season.

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