New rules for beach bars and sun loungers

Local authorities will be able to rent spaces on beaches to be used as cafes and bars for two years, as opposed to one, but the businesses that sign these deals will be more limited in the alterations they can make to the natural environment.

According to a decision agreed by the Finance and Interior ministries, municipalities will for the first time be able to sign up to two-year deals but will also have to increase from 20 to 30 percent the share of the revenue earned from such deals that has to be given to the state.

The decision also introduces a number of stricter rules regarding what kind of structures can be placed on beaches. For instance, decking will be banned unless it is to make walkways for beachgoers. Also, bars and cafes will not be allowed to place tables and chairs right on the beach but only on their premises.

The government is also extending from 3 to 5 meters the distance from the sea at which sun loungers and umbrellas can be placed by businesses. The new decision also bans the use of any other structures, such as tents or pavilions, designed to provide shade. Last year, enterprises renting beach space were allowed to use structures covering up to 20 square meters.

Mobile canteens can only rent half of the space they could last year (15 square meters rather than 30) and cannot have sound systems.

ekathimerini.com