From 23 March the beaches of Barcelona enter what is known as the mid-season period, which continues until 1 June.
The cleaning operations involve brigades carrying out morning, afternoon and evening shifts, and the number of litter bins installed on all the beaches has increased five-fold. To ensure the waters are clean, the Barcelona City Council will also be activating the sea water cleaning service, with two boats that will remove waste from the surface of the water.
To ensure safety and mobility on the beaches, the Guàrdia Urbana will be stepping up its seafront patrols. Officers from the Ciutat Vella and Sant Martí district units will carry out uniformed and plain clothes patrols, prioritising the fight against theft & robbery and will work to minimise practices such as illegal beach vending and other activities.
For people who wish to sunbathe whilst connected to the internet, the Council has set up fifteen Wi-Fi points on the Sant Sebastià, Barceloneta, Somorrostro, Nova Icària, Bogatell, Mar Bella and Llevant beaches.
With ‘mid beach season‘ now upon us, most of the seasonal services have now been launched: showers, beach refreshment stands and outdoor lavatories will all be opened to the public.
Over all the weekends in April, the Easter holidays, and from 1 to 29 May, various Red Cross and Guàrdia Urbana [city police] rescue and first-aid services will be activated, along with environmental information services.
Cleaning measures have also been launched, with daily operations and an expected doubling of the number of waste bins.
Security measures include both uniformed and civilian police beach patrols on foot, and various beach-based prevention and response units for muggings, robberies and hawking on the beach.
What’s more, there will be extra patrols from district and specialist units such as: the Administrative and Security Police Unit (UPAS), the Day-Time Support Unit (USD), the Mounted Unit (UM), the Centralised Night-Time Unit (UNOC) and the Traffic Unit (UC).
The Barcelona Beaches website will be providing real-time information over the Easter holidays on sea conditions, flags, temperatures and sunshine (UV index) for each of the beaches. This year the city’s beaches will offer city residents 14 free WiFi hotspots, in addition to the 411 hotspots spread through out the city.
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Barcelona WiFi is a public network providing free Internet access which the public will be able to start taking advantage of during the course of this week at 170 hot spots clearly identified with “W” signs. This number will rise to 300 by the end of 2009.
They will be located in various municipal amenities spread across all the city districts and include, among others, civic centres, libraries, Citizen Advice Centres, sports centres, museums, markets and block interiors.
Users can access the service from laptops, PDAs, terminals with wireless interfaces and mobile devices such as the iPhone and Blackberry. All they need to do is look for networks with WiFi availability and choose the Barcelona WiFi service.
Of the 500 connection points which the city will have by 2010, 60% will allow free browsing without any restrictions, except for ethically unacceptable pages, such as games or pornography, and pages with audiovisual downloads, IP telephony and videoconferencing.
In addition, for NN Hotels the Wireless Internet has become a standard service and offer to all of their clients free use of Business Centers and free WiFi Internet.