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Date: 26/05/2011

Barcelona tells bikini wearers to cover up or cough up

A foreign holiday in the sun on single trip travel insurance means a chance for tourists to let their hair down, dress casually and wander around the local markets in just a sarong and flip-flops. But residents of Barcelona have had enough of the holidaymakers that take it that step too far by wearing just swimwear – or even less – and have brought in a bylaw banning 'nudity or virtual nudity in public places.'

The northeastern Spanish coastline attracts millions of visitors each year, with both holidaymakers and those staying longer on their backpacker travel insurance enjoying the sights and sounds. However, despite the revenue that the tourism industry brings in for locals, many are fed-up with seeing nudist sunbathers wandering the streets wearing little but sandals and a smile.

The local authorities tried to clamp down on what is viewed as antisocial behaviour earlier on in the year by putting up a series of prominent signs clearly showing walking around just in swimwear was prohibited. Despite this, there appeared to be little difference to the attire of holidaymakers pouring off the beaches. Families enjoying a harmless break on their single trip travel insurance as well as locals continued to be confronted with nude sunbathers walking around without covering up.

The new bylaws mean that anyone caught wandering around nude will be fined between 300-500 euros and those dressed in just swimwear between 120-300 euros. The rules apply equally to locals as well as holidaymakers, such as those visiting on their backpacker travel insurance.

Many of the local shops have welcomed the introduction of the restrictions but nudist groups have reacted with anger at the move, claiming they were being told how they should dress. City authorities have denied they are dictating to individuals and said they are simply trying to 'ensure coexistence between citizens in public areas.'