The Caminito del Rey reopened last Friday after being out of operation for three months due to the coronavirus lockdown, but those who decide to do this walkway which crosses the Desfiladero de los Gaitanes gorge will find that things are not quite as they used to be. The provincial government has drawn up a 130-page plan of safety and special disinfection measures in conjunction with experts in safety, emergencies and catastrophes from Malaga University, which Diputación president Francisco Salado says will "guarantee that the Caminito del Rey is safe and free from Covid-19".
For the first three weeks, the Caminito can only be visited on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and the maximum number of users has been reduced to 50 per cent, which is 550 people a day. The spectacular tourist attraction will start opening from Tuesdays to Sundays from 7 July, with Mondays being closed for maintenance. Tickets for July have now been put on sale.
The measures to prevent contamination include the hourly disinfecting of public lavatories and the busiest areas of the route, where the most people congregate, and the remainder every two hours.
Bleach will be used to disinfect the lavatories and the entrances and exits of the Caminito, and other parts such as barriers, handrails and signs will be cleaned with virucides containing alcohol to minimise the effect on the environment.
Hand gel dispensers will also be placed in different spots along the route and there will be a special disinfection process for the helmets which visitors have to wear.
Visitors can expect social distancing measures to be enforced, with people being asked to keep two metres from others when stationary and five metres when moving.
Although officially the shuttle bus between the finish and the beginning of the route is permitted to carry the maximum number of passengers in Phase 3 of the easing of restrictions, it has been decided to reduce this to 50 per cent for the time being.
Staff on the Caminito have been provided with special protective equipment and trained in how to deal with accidents or emergencies involving visitors during this 'new normality' following the global pandemic.