Tourists partying without masks in Punta Ballena. | Michel

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All bars, restaurants and shops in Punta Ballena in Magalluf and the famous ham and beer streets in Playa de Palma will be closed for two months to prevent a repeat of the drunken behaviour by tourists last weekend.

The new measures were published in the BOIB on Wednesday and are effective immediately. The closure will last for two months, but there is a possibility that the restrictions may be modified depending on the degree of compliance.

The use of long straws are now banned in the Balearic Islands because they are used to share drinks and half-litre glasses are also be banned.

High tables and stools are prohibited in those areas affected, to stop people socialising and make sure everyone is respecting the social distancing rules and these measures will be extended to other areas if necessary.

Iago Negueruela, Economic Model, Tourism & Labour Minister.

The new restrictions were announced by Tourism Minister, Iago Negueruela, on Wednesday to deal with excess tourism in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

"We do not want these types of tourists to come to our Islands,” he said and warned that “if the tourists move on to other areas to carry out uncivil practices we will not hesitate to close those establishments too because we do not want that type of businessmen or that type of tourist.”

Minister Negueruela said Tour Operators have also been warned about the new restrictions and insisted that these preventive measures are necessary to ensure that the Balearic Islands is a safe tourist destination.

“The epidemiological situation in the Balearics is very good,” he said, “and all necessary measures are being taken to guarantee that it stays that way.”

He also pointed out that tourist excesses in Playa de Palma and Punta Ballena are very specific cases and vowed that the Government will not allow them to damage the image of the Balearic Islands.

Minister Negueruela also confirmed that premises of more than 300 metres cannot open in the Balearic Islands.

"The most important thing is health and without health there is no economy," he said, adding that “the behaviour of the companies and workers of the Islands has been exemplary. More than 30,000 workers already out of the ERTE and we want this rhythm to be maintained.”

Iago Negueruela, Economic Model, Tourism & Labour Minister & Isabel Castro, Public Administration Minister

Reinforcements

Public Administration Minister, Isabel Castro, announced that extra Police Officers will be deployed to Playa de Palma and Magalluf and that special surveillance will also be carried out at sea.

A joint task force of 100 Government Inspectors, Local police from Palma and Calvià, the Guardia Civil, the National Police and 50 Labour Inspectors will be working together and Minister Castro warned that sanctions will be high because people’s health cannot be put at risk.

Minor offences, such as exceeding capacity, not wearing face masks or not complying with social distance rules will result in fines of €100-€3,000.

Serious offences, which include organising or participating in meetings or parties where crowding prevents or hinders health and safety protocols or putting people’s health at risk will result in penalties of €3,001-€60,000.

Very serious offences, such as the commercialisation of parties in public or private places, not complying with capacity limitations, having a dance floor and putting people’s health at risk because of crowding will result in fines of up to 600,000 euros and the establishment involved will be shut down for a maximum period of years even if the venue changes hands.

The sanctions also apply to party boats, tourist rentals and private houses.

The new restrictions are a direct result of photographs and video footage showing crowds of tourists partying without face masks and zero social distancing in Carrer Punta Ballena and Carrer de San Ramón Nonato at the weekend.

The Government plans to launch campaigns publicising the Balearic Islands as "the safest destination in the Mediterranean" said Minister Negueruela.