• The first bars to open will be on La Caleta de Cabo Roig and La Glea beach, in Campoamor

The residents of Orihuela Costa are getting excited. After a very long wait, bathers will soon be able to start enjoying the beach bars once again. On Tuesday morning staff could be seen on the sandbanks as they began assembling the huts.

The facilities, which reverted to municipal property at the end of the last contract, are in the hands of the successful bidders.

The beach bars had been closed since 1 January last year and were finally dismantled in November by order of Costas until such time as the new tender was resolved. That has now been all but completed with the bars at La Glea (Café Olé & Friends) and La Caleta (Adem Levante) hoping to open by this weekend.

The council had promised to open the beach bars at Easter, but in the end the administrative procedures proved far more complicated that they had first thought.

Although we have been waiting for the successful bidders to be announced for weeks, the delivery of additional documentation and guarantees have delayed the process. Additionally, the weather was also not good during part of Holy Week and it is only in recent days that high temperatures are returning bathers to the Oriola beaches.

Just one of the lots remains to be awarded with the contracts for Punta Prima, Cala Mosca and Cala Estaca still pending.

Cala Mosca, meanwhile, has recurring problems with spills and stagnation of water and on Tuesday council staff removed a greenish liquid that had been accumulating in recent weeks, very close to the site usually occupied by the beach bar. This was reported by the Cabo Roig neighbourhood association.

So far the government team has not been able to stop water seeping into the area, nor determine the origin, although they do deny it is fecal.

Last year it was exactly this problem that caused the loss of the blue flag of tourist quality for a few weeks.