Thousands of Romanians have descended on wild beaches along the Black Sea coast, dumping litter and destroying vegetation, earning a rebuke from local authorities.
Authorities said 80,000 tourists spent the weekend along the Black Sea coast as temperatures climbed to 30 Celsius.
While the majority chose popular tourist spots such as Mamaia and Costinesti, large numbers headed to undeveloped and normally unpopulated beaches near the Danube Delta.
On Monday, the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve Administration said there were 8,000 tourists and 3,000 cars every day at the Vadu beach and 1,700 tourists and almost 500 cars at the Corbu beach. Farther south, there were 320 tourists and 120 cars at the Capul Midia beach which has now been closed.
The three wild beaches are part of the Danube Delta nature reserve, and have a special statute due to a number of protected species of plants and birds.
“(Tourists) didn’t respect the rules in a natural reserve, they drove over the area in cars and caravans and camped on the beach,” a statement said. It said tourists were given verbal warnings and fines.
In another resort, police handed out fines of 10,000 lei after tourists organized a party, ignoring public health guidance rules that ban large public gatherings.
Prime Minister Ludovic Orban called the situation on Romania’s beaches this weekend “a mess, they didn’t respect the rules. I understand that it is crowded, but there are norms you have to respect at outdoor restaurants like physical distancing, maybe there should be different opening hours.”