British tourists face £640 fine for weeing in the sea in Spain

By Claire Schofield
Wednesday, 22nd June 2022, 11:09 am
Updated Wednesday, 22nd June 2022, 11:20 am
Vigo in Spain will start issuing fines to holidaymakers for urinating in the sea (Photo: Getty Images)
Vigo in Spain will start issuing fines to holidaymakers for urinating in the sea (Photo: Getty Images)

British holidaymakers could face hefty fines worth hundreds of pounds if they are caught weeing in the sea off the Spanish coast.

City leaders in the city of Vigo, in north-western Spain’s Galicia region, have ruled that urinating “in the sea or on the beach” is now a punishable offence.

The city council has branded public urination a “minor infraction” and “an infringement of hygiene and sanitary regulations”.

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Under the new rules, anyone who is caught relieving themselves could be hit with a fine up to £640 (€750).

To combat the habit, the council said it plans to install public toilets on beaches during the peak season.

Officials are also said to be considering sanctions for other bad habits, including using soap in the sea, leaving rubbish on the sand, or taking barbecues or gas cylinders to the beach.

It is not yet clear how law enforcement officers will enforce the rules.

Tourists facing stricter rules in Spain

The clampdown on public urination in Vigo marks just one of several strict rules being enforced in Spain.

At all Spanish beach showers, it is illegal to wash with soap and shampoo because the products are harmful to marine life. Those caught breaking the rules can be fined up to £620.

Holidaymakers who go nude on a non-nudist beach could also be issued with a £620 fine, while Javea in Alicante has banned smoking on all of its beaches to improve environmental protection on the coast, just as Barcelona city council did last year.

Eleven seaside restaurants on the island of Mallorca have banned tourists from wearing certain clothes associated with “drunken tourism”.

In these restaurants, mostly in the Playa de Palma, shirtless, costumed or football-jersey-clad holidaymakers will no longer be allowed entry, according to Juan Miguel Ferrer, the chief executive of Palma Beach.

Swimwear, trunks and novelty accessories bought from roadside vendors are also said to be banned.

Many parts of Spain have also clamped down on people being inappropriately dressed on public streets, with authorities dishing out fines for men walking around with no shirts on, or women only wearing bikinis or swimwear on the seafront promenade or the adjacent streets, according to travel advice issued by the UK government.

People face a maximum fine of around £250 in Barcelona and Mallorca, for example.

Additionally, tourists were told in April that alcohol consumption in all-inclusive hotels in parts of the Balearic Islands in Spain will be capped to a maximum of six alcoholic drinks per person per day.

The rules, which apply in Magaluf, Playa de Palma in Mallorca and San Antonio in Ibiza, mean guests can only drink alcohol during lunch and dinner.

The law also prohibits “off-licence” sales between 9:30pm and 8am.