British tourists visiting Spain will be “roasted” under new energy-saving measures that ban air conditioning from being set below 27°C in summer, a tourism chief has warned.
The country has approved a new set of rules that ensure that heating cannot be heated above 19C in winter.
The measures apply to offices, shops, bars and restaurants, as well as to public transport systems and transport centers. Stores must keep their doors closed to maintain the temperature.
They are part of Spain’s drive to reduce its gas consumption by 7% under a recent agreement with the European Union to reduce dependence on Russian gas.
According to the new rules, the lights must also go out from 10 p.m. in storefronts and vacant government buildings.
However, Spain is currently experiencing a very hot summer, with temperatures above 40°C in many parts, and the president of the Costa del Sol tourism board has criticized the measures.
“We want satisfied tourists, not roasted tourists or people who are afraid to walk the dark streets,” says Francisco Salado.
He has called on the government to “put mental energy into more effective measures”.
He added: “It is as if this decree was written by a Martian, someone who is deeply ignorant of our country and who has not consulted with 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 thermostats to 27 degrees in the summer “right in the middle of a heat wave.” .
It was announced earlier this week that tourists can continue to keep their hotel rooms cool as they are considered “private spaces”, but all other public spaces will have to comply with new laws.
Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez announced the new package last week, saying: “You just have to walk into a shopping center to realize that the temperature may have been set too low.”
Spanish public institutions already have similar energy-saving regulations.
The cabinet says that the measures not only save energy, but also reduce bills for households and companies.
Spain is one of the hottest European countries in summer. The country has already had two heat waves this year with temperatures expected to rise again in the first weeks of August.