Tourists in Barcelona, Spain, who wander off the beach and onto the streets in their bikinis and beachwear - or even less - will now face strict fines.

The city hall has voted to ban 'nudity or virtual nudity in public places' and limit swimwear to swimming pools, beaches, adjacent roads and beach walks.

There'll be a stiff fine for bikini and trunk-wearing wanderers (120 to 300 euros), while nudists will face an even tougher fine of 300 to 500 euros.

Authorities in the city, where the port and the beach areas are adjacent to the historic old town, have been trying to discourage the behaviour for a while, and put up posters warning against it earlier this year.

They showed a couple in swimming costumes with a red line across it next to another couple dressed normally but without the red line.

The city councillor in charge of security, Assumpta Escarp, told the Independent that the new regulations hope to 'ensure coexistence between citizens in public areas,' but denied that they are 'telling people how they should dress'.

While owners of tourist shops defend the move, nudists are outraged.

Jacit Ribas i Deix, the head of an association for the defence of nudity and who became well known in Barcelona for walking and cycling naked through the city, told the paper: 'It's a ban that goes beyond laws that decriminalised nudity 22 years ago.'

But Egidio Pagliotta, 68, a ice-cream salesman, said: 'There was a lot of permissiveness and (the new regulation) will be better for everyone.'

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