FACE MASKS - THE NEW PROTOCOL
There was speculation surrounding a tougher stance on the wearing of face masks across Majorca going on all last week. Most islanders suspected that there would be a tightening up of the present protocol, but that didn’t stop a lively debate taking place on the Majorca Daily Bulletin Facebook site, between those who were in favour of the measure and those who though it unnecessary at best and divisive at worst. Nevertheless, the much touted sharpening of the present rules of engagement will be in place - as of Monday 13th July. Up until this time, face masks were only mandatory in commercial establishments or when social distancing of 1.5 metres was impossible. The new ruling, ensures that anyone caught without a mask will be fined 100 euros. President Armengol said that her government’s priority was to protect the health of residents and visitors alike.
VILLA RENTAL BOOM!
A midweek article reported a “Bookings Boom” in private villa rentals particularly in those that surround established resorts such as Puerto Pollensa and Alcudia. Significantly, this type of holiday rental is perceived as being safe for tourists in the wake of the pandemic, because - apart from multi-family buildings, guests do not share any common spaces. Interestingly, although a significant part of the tourism mix across the North of the island in particular, private villa rentals have always had a low-profile, and yet - given the current circumstances they tick a lot of boxes for self contained families who want to holiday independently on the island.
PALMA CARRIAGE HORSES - THE PROTESTS CONTINUE
Some news stories that appear within the Bulletin do so on a regular basis at certain times of the year. Take for instance, the annual summer call for the banning of horse and carriages operators on the streets of Palma. The sight of exhausted animals staggering around the streets of our capital pulling complacent tourists, is not one to be cherished at anytime. Indeed, the organisation that campaigns for the end of the practice is fuming at the inability of those in authority to ban this controversial practice. Progreso en Verde claims it has collected more than 120,000 signatures through - change.org - from people calling for an end to the exploitation of these horses. A spokesman was quoted as saying - “Every year we see horses on the verge of fainting on the street, but no action is taken, and there are no consequences for the drivers.” “Progreso en Verd will not be silent in the face of pressure from the galley drivers and will denounce all non compliances.” Indeed, anyone who has ever worked in newspaper journalism, will tell you that few subjects will incense the general public more than wilful cruelty to animals. Yet, the practice still continues!
A PLASTIC PLEASURE
It seems that the General Directorates of Migration and the police have approved an instruction which allows British nationals who were resident in Spain before 31st January (Brexit Day!) to apply for the new Residence Document from Monday of last week. I have to say the piece was little vague as to where exactly you would get this new document, but - at least it is set to be plastic and not a grubby piece of green paper that sits in your wallet/purse slowly disintegrating.
WE NEED MORE BABIES!
According to a certain clinical embryologist who goes under the name of Rafael Trinchant, couples might have put off having children as a result of the economic collapse caused by the coronavirus crisis. He was quoted as saying that - “During the last economic crisis, many people postponed having children and in the end had to access assisted production, because they waited too long and needed help.” Monitor alas, does not have the same medical skills as Dr Trinchant - but took the generally held view that approximately 9 months after the period of the lockdown, society would be inundated with bonny babies - perhaps not.
WHAT WAS THAT?
And finally - my favourite story of the week by far! Did you know that the small Majorcan town of Montuiri registered a 2.2 earthquake on Sunday afternoon, according to the National Geographic Institute’s website? The tremor (quiver - tremble - wobble?) apparently occurred at 19.33hrs last Sunday evening during the Spanish version of Songs of Praise. The local police said that nobody in the municipality felt a thing apart from one 112 call to notify them it had happened.