Children's playgrounds are to be closed again. The Balearic health minister, Patricia Gómez, announced on Friday that the closure of playgrounds, which applied during the lockdown, is to be reactivated as a measure "to protect the start of the school year". An exception will be made for playgrounds which are for schools' teaching activities.
In addition, establishments that offer children's entertainment and activities will be subject to temporary suspension. This measure and others announced on Friday will be in force for 15 days; publication of the measures on the Official Bulletin is expected on Saturday.
Children's sports competitions, the minister noted, will not be affected as most of these do not start until October. She defended the fact that playgrounds had not been closed before the start of the school year on the grounds that children could gather within "stable groups", e.g. family groups. The aim, she stressed, is for schools to be very safe environments. "We know that there will be cases and that it is possible that a school will have to close, but there is the right of 170,000 children to go to school."
Of other measures, fairs and fiestas will be prohibited, with this ban including street suppers (a popular aspect of fiestas). For cinemas, theatres and halls, capacity will be 50% and seats must be pre-assigned. The wearing of masks is obligatory. Previous measures introduced in August are to be extended for a further fifteen days. Therefore, the ban on smoking in public spaces will continue. Bar and restaurant capacities will continue to be 50%, and beaches and municipal parks will close between 9pm and 7am.
Gómez observed: "We are in the second wave. It is a delicate moment, and we have to do everything to protect people's health. We want to flatten the contagion curve and the hospital admissions' curve. The start of the school year, the arrival of autumn and the evolution of the pandemic make us ever more vigilant."