Puerto Andratx, Mallorca; waves threw stones onto the road

Waves in Puerto Andratx threw stones and debris onto the road.

06-12-2020Michel's

Mondays come around and the Balearic government spokesperson Pilar Costa appears before the un-massed ranks of masked, socially distanced and expectant members of the media in order to inform them what the cabinet's come up with this week. She reels off a tedious list of approvals for spending on minor projects and finally gets to the only item on the agenda that anyone has any interest in. What are the latest Covid measures?

Last Monday's measures amounted to no measures in that the cabinet had agreed to wait until the middle of December before announcing definite measures. Government communications experts must have decided that such a hiatus wouldn't satisfy a measures-anticipating citizenry, and so two days later it was announced that the normal twelve days of Christmas are to be reduced by two-thirds and will end at 1.30 in the morning.

Keeping it in the family

These four days were admittedly an advance on no days and so there was a realisation of the opportunity to be jolly (and jolly careful, to quote Boris Johnson) on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. This jolliness will, however, be confined to no more than ten people at a time, and these ten people will seemingly all have to be members of the same family. How will it be known if they're the same family? Perhaps we will find out in mid-December, when the definite measures are announced and will probably specify QR codes or some such ingenious method.

Christmas curfew for Sa Pobla?

In Sa Pobla, meanwhile, they'll be hoping that specific measures don't extend beyond December 19. If they do, how will a later curfew of 1.30am square with an earlier one of 10pm that was introduced because cases in the municipality were out of control?

Looking forward to Easter

The Balearic tourism ministry was looking beyond Christmas and to Easter. Tourism reactivation, it was announced, must start from the end of March. And to this end, the national Turespaña tourism agency was talking to the tourism minister about the promotional plan of attack. Safe destination remains the key term, regardless of vaccines, but what might the situation be with tests for travellers by then?

The Canaries antigen UDI

President Armengol had more immediate concerns - travellers coming from the mainland - and said that she was "convinced" that the same rules regarding negative PCR tests for foreign travellers will be applied. Oddly enough, the government in the Canaries appeared to have made some form of testing unilateral declaration of independence. Antigen tests in advance of travel will be accepted. The state of alarm rules, the government in the Canaries insisted, allow it - as the "competent authority" - to decide on tests, and so Madrid will just have to lump it and rubber-stamp the Canaries antigens by excluding the Canaries from the PCR requirement.

The multilingual taxi drivers of Magalluf

Calvia town hall was also looking forward to tourism reactivation by introducing new requirements for taxi drivers to communicate in a welcoming manner with tourists by being able to converse with them in their own language. Training is to be given to taxi drivers to brush up on, for example, their English, and so they'll probably learn stock phrases and entire sentences in being able to respond to "Oi, mate, Punta Ballena, por favor." "Yes, sir, but might I respectfully remind you of the provisions of the Balearic government's tourism of excesses decree."

Winter in Majorca

And finally, there was some weather. Yes, really, some weather. December and meteorological winter had arrived and so eyes were scouring the peaks of the Tramuntana looking for evidence of snow. Otherwise, there was rain, there were some high seas and there were some strong gusts of wind. Winter, like Christmas, comes every year and so does occasionally wintry weather. Actually, it was flipping freezing at times.

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