Last week some of the beaches in the South of France finally reopened. But there were some new rules to observe and I couldn’t resist sharing a few photos of this experience:
The new rules define how to use the beach. They are clearly stated at the entrance to the restricted area: beachgoers can enjoy a cca. 20-m stretch of sand between 8 AM to 5 PM for the maximum duration of 1 hour. A map shows how to descend to the beach and how to return. People must leave their belongings in a specially designated area and may not stay lying on the sand after swimming.
Charming fencing and police tape demarcate the authorized areas…
To make sure everyone complies with the rules, the police forces were present, all armed with pistols and wearing bullet-proof vests:
In all, the 20-m authorized bathing area was watched at various times by 8 police officers plus two life guards who are also part of the police force.
One of the officers carried an automatic rifle. For as long as I observed him, he kept his index finger just by the rifle’s trigger.
Some people clearly did not understad the simple new rules and the police quickly made an example of them. Fortunately, it was not necessary for them to use their weapons – a few 135 Euro fines would suffice this time.
These non-compliant individuals set down their bags and towels outside the authorized area. But for most of us, the periodic whistles and shouts from the police were a sufficient reminder not to stray too far from the authorized enclosure. This was made easier still, thanks to the warnings repeated every 30 minutes or so over a loudspeaker system.
Of course, most of us found it easy to comply. In all, it was a beautiful day and within the restricted area you could almost forget to feel thankful to the authorities for granting us 60 minutes to enjoy ourselves at the beach. The only part of the experience that slightly impaired this enjoyment was the fact that the sea is still a bit cold.