In Puglia, the heel of the Italian boot, the beach attendant Fabrizio Marzano aligns parasols and delimits spaces with fine cords, thus drawing a possible model of summer beach anti-coronavirus. The municipality of Porto Cesareo, on the turquoise blue Ionian Sea, will it succeed in attracting Italians now dreaming of holidays, after a long confinement of nine weeks planned to last until May 4?
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Fabrizio Marzano, owner of the bathing establishment "Bacino Grande", wants to believe in it, on condition of ensuring "their serenity" .
"The little ropes on the sand, it is quite simply to give an idea of the spaces" between the holidaymakers, explains the entrepreneur, who leaves on a basis of "30% less parasols physically on the beach this year" , "Definitely a financial loss". To better illustrate its strategic plan, part of the beach, with its parasols glued to each other, looks like that of last year.
The other, its “summer 2020” model, presents much less promiscuity, with deckchairs separated by one and a half meters. An alley delimited by ropes also allows access to its deckchair without stepping over other summer visitors. It will also be necessary to "increase the catering services" with holidaymakers directly on their mattresses, in order to avoid queues at the bar and to respect the safety distance, he said. "We Italians have a lot of imagination, there has to be a way to give people a sense of security!" he exclaims.
"Customers call us to inquire and decide whether or not to go to sea," says Fabrizio. "It is a reason for hope for us" .
Italian beachgoers could welcome 45 million fewer tourists and record a loss of 30 billion euros for the 2020 season, compromised by the coronavirus pandemic, according to a study carried out by the sector, while Italy is the European country the most affected with some 26,000 deaths officially recorded. Not to mention an investment of 360 million euros necessary to meet safety standards capable of reassuring customers, or some 12,000 euros on average per beach concessionaire for the season.
The time is therefore to worry at "Federbalneari Italia", the federation of bathing structures, which brings together 13 regional associations and 3000 tourism entrepreneurs. This powerful federation, in a country where tourism employs 4.2 million people and generates 13% of GDP, therefore requires exceptional public aid, in particular a substantial reduction in rents, beach concession leases, tax credits, and why not “holiday bonuses” for low wages.
As for public health experts, this is a very prudent time: for the director of the infectious diseases department of the Higher Institute of Health Giovanni Rezza, Italians can only go to the beach this summer if " " The current improvement in epidemiological data is confirmed and " only by scrupulously respecting the safety distances " .
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