Destinations

Spanish officials slammed for spraying beach with bleach to protect children from COVID-19

Officials in a Spanish resort town have apologised after spraying a beach with diluted bleach in an attempt to protect children from COVID-19.

The village of Zahara de los Atunes in Andalusia – which is known for its picturesque beaches – sent tractors to spray more than two kilometres of its coast with a bleach solution, just a day before Spain allowed children out of their six-week lockdown for the first time.

A European epicentre for the COVID-19 pandemic, Spain has recorded at least 25,428 deaths due to the virus. The government had imposed lockdown measures in mid-March, which were loosened in late-April to allow children under the age of 14 to go outside for up to an hour per day.

But environmentalists say the move was “absolutely absurd” and has caused “brutal damage” to the local ecosystem.

“The beach is a living ecosystem. And when you spray it down with bleach, you’re killing everything you come across,” María Dolores Iglesias Benítez, who heads an environmental volunteer group in the Cadiz region, said.

According to multiple reports, the beach and its dunes are protected breeding and nesting places for migratory birds.

Iglesias, whose organisation works to protect local beaches and the birds that live there, said she had seen at least one nest with eggs destroyed by the tractors.

“Bleach is used as a very powerful disinfectant, it is logical that it be used to disinfect streets and asphalt, but here the damage has been brutal,” she told Spanish media.

“They have devastated the dune spaces and gone against all the rules. It has been an aberration what they have done, also taking into account that the virus lives in people not on the beach. It is crazy.”

The Provincial Delegation of Sustainable Development of the Junta de Andalucía is now considering fining the local authority of Zahara de los Atunes for its action.

Its president, Agustin Conejo, admitted that it was “a wrong move” to bleach the village’s coast and said that he would assume the fine, if it materialises.

“I admit that it was a mistake, it was done with the best intention,” he told Spanish news outlet El Pais, adding that the idea was to make the beach safe for children in preparation for the lifting of coronavirus lockdown measures.

The spraying controversy has also attracted the attention of Greenpeace Spain, which drew comparisons with recent comments from the United States’ president, Donald Trump, on whether the injection of cleaning products could combat COVID-19.

“Fumigating beaches with bleach in the middle of bird-breeding season or during the development of the invertebrate network that will support coastal fishing … is not one of [Donald] Trump’s ideas. It is happening in Zahara de los Atunes,” Greenpeace Spain wrote on Twitter.


Featured image: iStock/merc67



SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Aviation

Qantas proposes scrapping bonuses if it is “harmed”

Qantas has copped some bad press lately, but the silver lining is it’s a great excuse for Alan Joyce to get a nice makeover!

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Boeing 737 MAX mid-air emergencies revealed in new investigation

Surprisingly the investigation came from the ABC and not from Air Crash Investigation, which kind of puts the show to shame a bit.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Western travel agents banned from booking Hajj pilgrimage

Those looking to complete Hajj will have to enter the Hajj lottery, which you are still astronomically more likely to win than the actual lottery.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

Virtuoso uncovers key differences in how each generation travels

Meanwhile, Travel Weekly staff are conducting our own research to tap into the zoomer market by teaching the office dog TikTok dances. It’s not going well.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Royal Caribbean Group completes its comeback with all ships back at sea

To honour the milestone, all 63 ships in the group’s fleet sounded their horns at once, which most likely scared the sh*t out of nearby fishing boats and unsuspecting wales across the world.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Virgin teams up with Flight Centre for money-can’t-buy workshop

It’s the second time a Flight Centre partnership has come up this week and it’s only Tuesday! Skroo must be feeling extra convivial this week.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

“It’s more like a bribe”: Unions slam Qantas’ $5,000 ‘thank you’ payment

Speaking of bribes, if anyone would like to bribe us with an all-expenses-paid trip to Japan we promise to give you a good review on TripAdvisor.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Solomon Islands to reduce mandatory quarantine

Good news for those looking to travel across the Pacific Islands! Not so good news for those who enjoy being confined to a hotel room for days on end.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Oakwood solidifies Aussie presence with full opening of Melbourne luxury property

Looking to treat yourself? Don’t get a chocolate at the shops, book yourself a stay at the new Oakwood property in Melbourne (or do both)!

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Flight Centre signs landmark agreement with Rex as pilots prepare for industrial action

While seemingly struggling to win popularity among its pilots, the regional carrier has turned to its agency partners for reassurance.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Princess reveals The Real Love Boat crew, celebrates ‘Top Gun Agents’

Say a prayer for the poor souls tasked with wrangling a ship full of reality dating contestants hell-bent on getting frisky at sea.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

How your clients can skip the rebound chaos with South America

Got clients keen to travel but hoping to avoid inflated prices and hoards of European Summer revellers? We’ve got the answer for you.

Share

CommentComments