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British tourists in Spain will be ‘roasted’ after country adopts strict air conditioning rules, tourism chief warns | World news

Written by Javed Iqbal

British tourists visiting Spain will be “roasted” under new energy-saving measures banning air conditioning from being set lower than 27C in summer, a tourism chief has warned.

The country has approved a new set of rules that will also see heating not allowed above 19C in winter.

The measures will apply to offices, shops, bars and restaurants as well as public transport systems and transport centres. Shops must keep their doors closed to maintain the temperature.

They are part of Spain’s efforts to reduce its gas consumption by 7% under a recent EU deal to reduce dependence on Russian gas.

Lights must also be switched off in shop fronts and empty government offices from 22.00 according to the new rules.

However, Spain is currently experiencing a very hot summer with temperatures above 40C in many parts, and the chairman of the Costa del Sol tourist board has criticized the measures.

“We want satisfied tourists, not toasted tourists or those who are afraid to walk the dark streets,” said Francisco Salado.

He has called on the government “to use mental energy on more effective measures”.

He added: “It is as if this decree had been written by a Martian, someone who is profoundly ignorant of our country and who has not consulted anyone.”

He added that “it makes no sense” to force hotels, restaurants, bars, museums, cinemas, shops, train and bus stations and airports to raise their thermostat in summer to 27 degrees “right in the middle of a heat wave”.

It was revealed earlier this week that tourists can continue to keep their hotel rooms chilled because they are considered “private spaces”, but all other public areas must comply with new laws.

Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez announced the new package last week, saying: “You only have to walk into a shopping center to realize that the temperature might be set too low.”

Spanish public institutions already apply similar energy-saving rules.

The government says the measures will not only save energy, but will also reduce bills for households and businesses.

Spain is one of the hottest European countries in summer. The country has already had two heatwaves this year with temperatures expected to rise again in the first weeks of August.

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Javed Iqbal

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