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Many Britons may be eyeing Majorca and the wider Balearic islands for a winter holiday. However, strict new regulations are to hit certain regions after the Balearic government noted the spread of the virus is on the rise.
Majorca has been put on a new 10pm curfew until at least December 21 after the Balearic president admitted the coronavirus pandemic is getting worse on the island.
Francina Armengol said the accumulated incidence of the virus in 14 days is 260 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, while a week ago it was 223.
She, therefore, had “no choice” but to tighten up restrictions which came into force today.
The measures will be reviewed then and relaxed if cases have decreased.
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Ibiza, she said, had experienced a similar situation and tighter restrictions had worked.
At the moment, coronavirus cases are rising in the most populated areas of the island, including the capital of Palma which is a hotspot for tourists.
There are also “significant increases” in Calvia, which includes Magaluf, Llucmajor and Inca.
Bars and restaurants across Majorca will have now have to close at 10pm.
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However, in some of the municipalities on the island, including Sóller, Lloseta, Muro and Sa Pobla, bars and restaurants have been ordered to close all inside space because of very high escalating cases which are expected to continue to rise.
The Government Council has also approved aid of five million euros for businesses in the restaurant sector to install air quality devices required by a new law.
The curfew also affects people’s night-time mobility, with only a few exceptions for being allowed out on the streets.
The Balearic president said: “We have had to live a terrible historical moment.
“I am aware that people are very tired and need to hug someone but a hug or a kiss to a grandfather at this time may be the last.”
The regional government says it has not considered carrying out a perimeter closure, since there are very specific incidents in very specific places.
Francina Armengol said the measures that work are social distancing, the use of a mask, hand washing and good ventilation.
She also warned restaurant and bar owners that they must enforce the rules “as you cannot keep having customers who don’t wear their masks.”
The increase in infections, she said, is due to “social relaxation” and it may be necessary to wear a mask inside houses.
The new curfew in Majorca will be from 10pm to 6am.
This is two hours earlier than the previous curfew of midnight.
For Britons visiting the area, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advises to always follow the rules of local authorities.
Holidaymakers returning to the UK from the Balaeric Islands will also face 14 days of mandatory quarantine, however from December 15 they may have the option to take a test on day five as part of the new test to release scheme.
In Sóller, Muro and Lloseta, mass screening is to be carried out. The health department will also start to vaccinate 51,000 people from January.
Urging everyone to play their part, the Balearic president said: “Aware that the disease is still among us and continues to kill, we have to be more rigorous than ever in individual and collective protection.
“Our concern is to prevent the disease from spreading and prevent new serious infections and new deaths.
“It is not about thinking about parties, it is about thinking about stopping the virus. All together, as a society, we can achieve it.”
Majorca and Ibiza continue at level 3 of the Balearic’s tiered alert; Menorca, in level 2 and Formentera in level 1.
Additional reporting by Rita Sobot.
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