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In Order to Avoid Picnicking, Food Stands on the Beaches of SP Apply Cover Charges of Up to US$45

11/01/2017 - 11h46

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REGINALDO PUPO
FOLHA CONTRIBUTOR, IN UBATUBA (SP)

Tourists attending the beach of Ubatuba on the Northern Coast of São Paulo have been caught off guard by "cover charges" varying between R$ 100 and R$ 150 (US$ 30 and US$ 45), if they decide to sit at a table on the beach by a food stand. Such cover charges have already been considered illegal.

The establishments are targeting tourists who typically bring their own coolers containing drinks and foods, a popular tactic referred to as a "farofada", akin to a picnic. If a customer refuses to pay the cover charge, they are then asked to leave.

That's what happened to executive secretary Lilian Viana Santos, 39. She was with her husband and two daughters when an employee at the Pantai Kiosk, in Praia Grande, informed her of the R$ 150 cover charge. She consented to the charge, but refused to pay up front. She was then "asked" to leave.

Other than the cover charge, which, according to the mayor's office, is illegal, tourists have also had to put up with overcrowded beaches, particularly in Praia Grande, which is the most frequented beach on weekends during the high season.

At sunrise, several tents are set up along the beach and may be utilized - for R$ 70 a day (US$ 21). On weekends, by around 10 AM, sunbathers can barely find any space along the beach. Space is so scarce that some people practically sit in the water.

Tourists also have to compete with the tables and chairs that are displayed by food stands along the beach, something that was deemed illegal back in 2009 by a court order.

Such equipment may only be set up in the sand if requested by a customer. Once the tables have been unoccupied, they must then be collected, though they may be set up in the area surrounding the stands.

Translated by THOMAS MATHEWSON

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