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The Costa del Sol's main beaches to be closed for the night of San Juan

The traditional beach bonfires on the night of San Juan. File photograph.
The traditional beach bonfires on the night of San Juan. File photograph. / SUR
  • Only three towns will keep their sands open throughout the night of 23 June, although they will reinforce security controls

The night of San Juan will be celebrated this year without bonfires or music on the majority of beaches along the more than 100 kilometres of the Costa del Sol coastline in Malaga province.

Despite being in the final stretch of the pandemic, the main beaches will be closed tonight (23 June) to avoid large concentrations of people and ensure that the required coronavirus social distancing measures can be respected.

Only three beaches will remain open: Casares and Manilva, in the western area, and Torrox, in the eastern area.

As happened last year, other beaches will be closed at night and Local Police forces will be in charge of preventing access to the sands when the sun goes down.

Bonfires will not be allowed, there will be no municipal activities, nor will the day end by wetting one's feet or face, as is tradition on this date.

In Malaga city, the beaches will be closed from 10pm to 8am. The council said it issued the ban "in order to continue containing the spread of infections caused by SARS-CoV-2" and said that Local Police officers will ensure strict compliance with the order.

In Fuengirola, the town’s beaches will also be closed between 10pm and 8am. More than thirty police officers and security guards will ensure compliance with the Covid measures.

The situation will be similar in Benalmádena, where access to the beaches will also be prohibited. However, in the evening, a flamenco show will be held in the Plaza de la Mezquita starting at 10 pm.

The beaches will also be closed in Mijas at the same time and, again, Local Police units and town hall officials will ensure compliance with this pandemic control measure.

In Torremolinos, the beach ban will last one hour more, from 10pm to 9am.

The beaches in Marbella will be closed, too. The coastal town has kept the beaches closed at night since May, and no exception has been made for the night of San Juan. They will remain closed between midnight and 6am in the morning.

Estepona will not have any type of celebration either - bonfires or any other type of activity on its sands are prohibited.

Casares and Manilva, however, have chosen to organise controlled events. In Casares, Playa Ancha will host a concert and at midnight the traditional bonfire will be lit. Among other measures, maximum groups of ten people will be allowed. In Manilva there will be workshops for children in the afternoon and at night the comedian José Luis Calero will perform on the El Cali beach in San Luis de Sabinillas, but there will be no bonfire here.

Axarquía

In the Axarquía, four of the five coastal towns will close their beaches as a preventive measure. Only Torrox will keep them open, although it will reinforce surveillance along its nine kilometres of coastline.

Rincón de la Victoria will restrict access from 9pm to 7am, allowing only walking and bathing. In Vélez-Málaga and Algarrobo they will be closed at 12.30 am until 8am. In Nerja, the beaches will be closed from 10pm until 7am on the 24th, which is a local holiday.

Far from the sea, in the Serranía de Ronda there is only one organised activity planned: the night of San Juan in Cuevas del Becerro. The party will start at 11 pm with fireworks. The town council has asked residents to take their wishes, written down on paper along, and there will be live music, by Matutero & Auba.

SUR reporters Eugenio Cabezas, Andrea Jiménez, Joaquina Dueñas and Vanessa Melgar have contributed to this report.