Brits queue for TWO HOURS in 26C Benidorm to reserve socially distanced beach spots

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BRITISH holidaymakers in Benidorm have had to queue for two hours so they can grab a socially distanced spot on the golden sands.

Spanish officials have carved up Poniente and Levante beaches in to 5,000 13x13ft sunbathing squares – with a maximum of four people per space due to the coronavirus outbreak.

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Sun worshipers wanting to visit either beach are instructed to reserve a space online or use a reservation stand, so that numbers can be restricted and prevent overcrowding.

On Thursday though around 75 per cent of the available slots were already taken after the local council launched a website to allow booking

The beach has 1,557 plots that can be reserved for a morning, afternoon or evening slot.

According to local media, 1,487 slots were reserved online – leaving just 70 spaces available for people wanting to book in person.

This is a shame. I am 86 years old and have come for a month on vacation and 10 hours by bus from Bilbao to now have to be here for two hours.

Around a 100 people queued for up to two hours in the hot sun so they could guarantee themselves a spot.

The beaches at Poniente and Mal Pas currently do not need to be booked – although strict limits are in place.

Queues of up to 20 people were seen at the reservation stands hours before the beaches were officially opened, with some canny holidaymakers taking along chairs and umbrellas

One angry holidaymaker told local media: “This is a shame. I am 86 years old and have come for a month on vacation and 10 hours by bus from Bilbao to now have to be here for two hours.

She added: “It seems good to me that it is controlled and respected, but this is reportable.

“What time do I go down to the beach if I throw myself here for two hours?”

Elderly people seem to have been especially hard hit due to being unable to access the website and struggling with the technology.

Officials have hired workers to teach people in the queues how to reserve a space online.

But some elderly residents have complained that they don’t have an email address.

Tourist Miguel, from San Sebastián, said the beach capacity needed to be increased.

He said: “We come every year. We pay a fortune and we are only going to be able to go to the beach twice and we lose the day here.

“Poniente is far from us to be loaded at our age.”

Benidorm mayor Toni Perez said on Tuesday: “Last weekend and on Saturday especially more than 29,000 people were on our beaches.

“Controlling the amount of people on the beach is a legal obligation and we want to make sure as many as possible can enjoy sunbathing and swimming as possible during any one day.”

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