THE last Saturday before Christmas, shops would have stayed open longer and there would have been a festive air around Palma. But last Saturday rather put the whole situation we are living through in perspective.

Bars and restaurants had been ordered to close by 6p.m. and they did so having to tell clients to leave. The usually busy Jaime III with its Christmas lights glowing emptied in a matter of minutes. By 7p.m. it was almost deserted. The top city street fell silent. If anyone had doubted that we are living through one of the biggest crisis in recent history, they only had to walk around the streets on Saturday.

We all knew that this festive period was going to be difficult and in some ways a Christmas period to forget but it didn’t really dawn on me until I saw Palma on Saturday night. The government has been forced to take radical action as the number of cases continues to rise and you could have heard a pin drop in some city centre streets. The economic impact is going to be enormous.

Not only are there no tourists the local population are already struggling financially after a miserable holiday season. The only light at the end of the tunnel is the vaccine with Spain saying that the vaccination will start on the island before the end of the year. Everyone appears to be resigned that this will be a Christmas to forget and are even planning next year’s festivities. But one thing is clear; these restrictions have been introduced for a good reason.

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