Surfing banned at Nazare by official order
At the height of last week's XXL swell, the number of spectators watching Nazare was estimated to be in excess of 15,000, spread amongst the castle, headland, and the beach.
The swell event, and the associated viewing spectacle, came on the cusp of European leaders wrangling with a fresh outbreak of COVID-19, and, in response, Portugal's National Health Commission yesterday announced a ban on surfing - both paddle and tow-surfing - at Nazare, effective immediately.
It’s unclear how long the ban is in place, the only mention on timing thus far has been “until further notice.”
The above notice was drafted by the captain of Nazare port and reads:
“In the current context of the pandemic in Portugal, as determined by the regional health delegate and the regional health administration, Free Surf and Tow-in surfing are banned at Praia do Norte, due to the promotion of the public agglomeration, which constitutes an increased risk for the public health."
"Failure to comply with this determination incurs in a criminal offence punished by law.”
Three days ago, on the 1st of October, the waiting period for the WSL's Nazare Tow Surfing Challenge began. The League is yet to make a comment about the current ban on surfing.
As of today, Portugal has 157,000 cases of COVID-19 with 2,694 deaths.