All bars and restaurants are closing
From Wednesday: Drastic tightening of the corona measures on Mallorca
The Balearic Islands were once considered exemplary in containing the corona pandemic. Mallorca and Co. now have almost the highest number of infections in Spain. The regional government is frantically putting on the brakes.
In view of the rapidly increasing number of corona infections, Mallorca and the other Balearic Islands have drastically tightened the current restrictions on public life. As of Wednesday, private meetings at home and in public are forbidden for people who do not live in the same household as the regional government ordered.
In addition, all restaurants, bars, cafes and fitness studios have to close. In future, passengers in buses and trains should remain silent during the journey in order to avoid infection with viruses from the aerosol particles released when speaking. How the arrangement should be checked, however, remained unclear. “The Balearic Government is going into panic mode,” wrote the German-language “Mallorca-Zeitung” on Tuesday.
The corona numbers on the holiday islands popular with Germans, which include Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera, have been rising sharply since December. According to the Ministry of Health in Madrid, the number of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants within seven days was just under 310 on Tuesday. That is almost as high as in the state of Thuringia, which is particularly affected in Germany, and much higher than the average in Spain, where this value is just under 245 lies.
The situation in the hospitals is accordingly precarious. In the state hospital on Mallorca, only five beds are free in the adult department because of the many corona patients, the newspaper wrote. If necessary, new patients would have to go to the children’s ward, where there are still 20 free beds.
Meanwhile, resentment in the catering industry is getting louder. A demonstration by restaurant operators in front of the state government’s seat planned for Tuesday was banned on the grounds that there was a risk of contagion among the participants. But around 500 people disregarded the ban and demonstrated anyway. Under the motto “Si el pueblo no trabaja, tú no cobras” “(If the people don’t work, you don’t get a salary), they addressed the responsible politicians directly.
Many cinemas and concert halls, which are only allowed to occupy 30 percent of the seats normally available, also preferred to close temporarily. Night exit restrictions from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. have long been in place.
In June, at the end of the first corona wave, the Balearic Islands were considered exemplary in fighting the pandemic. The first “test vacationers” from Germany were even allowed to return to Spain before the official end of the lockdown at that time.
It is not easy to explain why the situation has gotten so out of control. There are many regulations, but some of them are only implemented laxly, wrote the newspaper “El Confidencial” as early as December, when the curve of new infections was pointing steeply upwards again.
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A lack of precautionary measures during several consecutive holidays at the beginning of December could also trigger the new spread of the virus, because at that time there was no mandatory test for visitors to the island. The “Mallorca-Zeitung” wrote in a comment that the ever new and changing editions are becoming increasingly difficult to understand and would impair social acceptance.