El Caminito del Rey Path opens tomorrow with safety measures that ensure distance among visitors and disinfection of the places
Francisco Salado emphasizes that the reopening of the path is a symbol of the reviving of the economy and tourism in the province of Málaga and Andalusia.The tickets for the visits to the site from the 7th July on are going to be put up for sale tomorrow. The capacity of the place remains 50%.the Research Department of Emergencies, Safety and Disasters at the University of Málaga established health and safety measures which are to be adopted.
El Caminito del Rey Path is to be reopened tomorrow by following all necessary anti-Covid prevention protocols that guarantee safety of visitors and include physical distance measures, as well as cleaning and disinfection of the facilities and places along the path.
The capacity is reduced to 50% with maximum 550 people per day and the path can be visited only on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays for next three weeks. However, from 7th July, it is going to be open for visits every day except on Mondays, when maintenance works take place, because of a great pubilc interest.
Round 8000 tickets, out of 11500, have been sold up to date, which is 70% of the total number of tickets. 7000 tickets are going to be added for sale tomorrow for July.
County Council President Francisco Salado explained this morning at the path, together with Carmelo Fernández, one of the researchers at the Department of Emergencies, Safety and Disasters at the University of Málaga, that the above plan was designed in order to guarantee safety for both, visitors and employees.
The event was also attended by the mayors of Álora, Ardales, Antequera and Valle de Abdalajís, Francisco Martínez, Juan Alberto Naranjo, Manuel Barón and José Romero, respectively, as well as Fernando Fernández Tapia-Ruano, Andalusian Government representative in Málaga for Agriculture, Fishing and Sustainable Development.
Francisco Salado emphasized that the reopening of the path was a symbol of the reviving of the economy and tourism in the province of Málaga and Andalusia. He also said: "We are ready to receive our visitors in order to return to normal and admire plenty of attractions in the Province of Málaga and the Costa del Sol. One of them is definitely the Caminito del Rey."
Mr Salado also said that it took two months to create a document with more than 130 pages about 'The Research on COVID-19 Risks in the Management of El Caminito del Rey Path' by the County Council, the above department at the University of Málaga, and the company in charge of the path's management Hermanos Campano. The company in charge of the inspection of the buildings Terra & Ferro and the mayors of the surroundings town participated in it as well.
The County Council President underlined the common endeavour to carry out this project which, according to him, was not easy due to a great number of people who come to this destination and the difficulty to provide the site with the safety measures all along its eight kilometres.
A work commission, made by the parts who made the safety plan, is going to continue to assess and correct, when necessary, the adopted measures. Moreover, the opening days will be checked according to the demand.
Francisco Salado has pointed out that one of the basic aspects that was taken into account when reopening the path was the physical distance between people, which is why not only the current capacity of the site was limited to 50% of its normal capacity, but also the groups at the beginning of the route are going to be reduced.
Due to the safety distance, certain areas where crowds are likely to be seen have been recreated. For example, the area at the entrance and the reception, around toilets, the hanging bridge, and the glass viewpoint. In these cases, the amount of people that approach the areas got to be controlled by fences and directions have been clearly indicated.
Moreover, some notices have been pined to remind about the importance of the safety distance between people or family groups whether they are standing (physical distance of 2 m) or walking (physical distance of 5 m).
Cleaning and Disinfection
Mr Salado also underlined that other crucial aspects of the safety are the coordinated cleaning and disinfection of the facilities and places along the trail, which include the right choice of products and establishing the frequency of their use.
Regarding that, it was decided to use bleach (sodium hypochlorite) only in toilets and for cleaning the facilities at the entrance and exit. The rest of the areas with handrails, banisters and similar, as well as boardwalks, bills and signs, are going to be cleaned with other products that contain alcohol so their impact on the environment would be reduced.
The toilets are cleaned at least once every two hours as well as handrails and similar. The parts of the hanging bridge that are touched by the visitors and the glass viewpoint are going to be cleaned at least every hour.
Moreover, round twelve points with hand sanitizers have been placed along the route. All the hard hats are going to be disinfected and given to the visitors with a disposable hygienic cap.
As for the shuttle buses that transport visitors between the south and north access, we got to an agreement with the company in charge of it to use only 50 % of their capacity, even though in the 3rd phase of lifting the lockdown in Spain, the use of their total capacity was permitted.
Informing and Protection of the Employees
The visitors can access the Health and Safety Protocol when buying the tickets at the website. There are some advice, recommendations and indications that are to be followed during the visit. Round ten places along the trail, such as the access points and bus stops have notices with health and safety measures that are to be applied along the way.
At the same time, some safety measures for employees have been adopted. They will be given protection equipment and instructions that should guarantee their and the visitors' safety. They are also provided with the emergency and accident procedures.