France And Italy’s Beaches Begin To Re-Open

by stab May 17, 2020 2 min read

After two-plus months of Coronavirus lockdowns, some regions in France and Italy have been able to reopen to surfers and swimmers. Europe was one of the hardest hit regions in the world, and was also one of the first to enact strict lockdowns; lockdowns which made surfing illegal in many countries, which eventually resulted in a few naysayers going viral as they disobeyed stay home orders with surfboards in hand.

While France has had nearly 150k confirmed cases and 27,000 deaths, they’ve kept new daily infections under 500 for a few weeks and have since been able to identify ‘green zones’ – regions with a low number of active cases.

According to The New York Times these green zones include France’s south west, home to France’s best waves including La Graviere. Beaches such as this are being gradually re-opened to swimmers and surfers. Similar to Australia, you’re still not allowed to bake in the sun’s rays on the shore, but you can surf till your hearts content (read: like a few hours, tops). 

“The virus is still around. We must learn to live with it. One can go fishing but not linger on the beach for hours. We are all responsible in the fight against COVID- 19,” France’s Interior Minister, Christophe Castaner said.

“If the rules are not respected, we will reverse our decisions (to open some beaches).” In addition, non-essential businesses in these green zones have also been able to open. Meaning surf stores, if they fit the criteria, will be able to supply you with your surf goods again.

Italy, being one of the first countries to truly feel Covid-19’s wrath, is now also starting to open its beaches. The first of these beaches were those of Ladispoli, nor-east of Rome. The waves were reportedly shithouse, but this didn’t stop a swarm of surfers and swimmers surfing in the two-foot of windchop.

Surfers, like everyone else are still being urged to maintain social distancing, and local ‘professional surfer’ Roberto D’Amico posted to his Facebook account reminding fellow waxheads not to let the last two months of lockdown go to waste.

“Surely times have not been easy for anyone. I knew that surfing wasn’t a priority right now,” D’Amico told AFP. “We respected the rules, we were really barricaded at home for two months.”

“The pandemic is not over, but nevertheless we’ve been given the freedom to come back and breathe some quality sea air, which makes us really happy and gives us the strength to face this difficult period for everyone.”

So, if you’re in these regions and somehow haven’t heard the news. Go and cop a wave. 

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