Christmas lights in Palma

Christmas lights in Palma.

15-12-2020M. À. Cañellas

With the Island on high alert due to a spike in coronavirus infections the holiday season will be very different this year.

“It's very hard to have to celebrate the holidays like this, but the health situation is forcing us to take measures,” said the president of the Government, Francina Armengol who urged people to reduce social gatherings and avoid crowds.

With all the restrictions changes that have taken place over the last few months, understandably there’s some confusion about what people can and cannot do, so here’s a summary.

Q: Can you travel to the Balearic Islands?
A: Yes, but you must supply a negative PRC test.

You can travel to the Balearic Islands as long as a negative PCR test is presented on arrival at airports and ports.

Q: Is the PCR that must be presented at the port airport free?
A: Only for Balearic residents.

Balearic residents will be able to take a free PCR test at origin, an antigen test on arrival or quarantine at home for 10 days, but tourists must pay for the test and present it upon arrival and if they fail to do so they'll be fined 3,000 euros.

Q: Will I be able to dine with family or friends?
A: Yes, but a maximum of 6 people are allowed to be together.

Social gatherings of up to 6 people from a maximum of 2 different homes are allowed indoors, so that people who live alone don’t have to spend Christmas alone.

Q: Does the maximum number include children?
A: Yes.

A maximum of 6 people are allowed to gather together and that number includes minors.

Q: Is the curfew changing at Christmas and New Year?
A: No, the curfew in Mallorca is 22:00.

There’s a 22:00 curfew in Mallorca until December 28 and previous plans to extend it have been shelved. All restaurants must close at 18:00 at weekends and on the eve of public holidays.

Q: Will there be a Three Kings Parade?
A: Yes, but it will be very different this year.

Crowds will not be allowed to gather to watch the Three Kings Parade, but it will be broadcast live on the IB3 Television Channel.

Q: Will restaurants be open?
A: Yes, but with limitations.

Restaurant must close at weekends and on the eve of public holidays at 18:00 and will only be allowed to serve customers on terraces or in outside spaces. Capacity is limited to 75 percent outside and customers are banned from eating or drinking at tables indoors until December 28. Restaurants are allowed to deliver food orders to homes until midnight, to make up for the loss of profits caused by early closing in the hospitality industry.

Q: Will shops be open extra hours during the holidays?
A: Shops are open on Sundays and capacity will be limited.

Capacity in shops has been reduced to 30 percent and access controls will be mandatory. The maximum capacity is approximately one person for every 10 m2, capacity is reduced to 50 percent in small businesses and the shops will be open on Sunday, December 27.

Q: Will the 'matines' be held?
A: Yes, but it's better to watch it on television

Capacity in churches is reduced to 25% with a maximum of 200 worshippers. The Bishop of Mallorca, Sebastià Taltavull will preside over the traditional religious celebration of the ‘Matines’ at Palma Cathedral on December 24 at 19:00, which can be viewed live on the Cathedral’s website and social networks and from 23:00 on the IB3 Television Channel.

Q: Will theatre shows go ahead?
A: Yes, but with limited capacity.

Capacity at theaters, auditoriums and other similar spaces has been reduced to 50% and all shows must end before 22:00.

Q: Can residents leave Nursing Homes during the holidays?
A: No.

Residents are not allowed to spend the night away from Nursing Homes unless it’s during a vacation period or temporary discharge from the centre.

Q: Is the curfew being relaxed on New Years Eve?
A: It's highly unlikely.

President Armengol says it’s difficult to imagine that the coronavirus situation will improve enough by New Year’s Eve to be able to relax the restrictions in Mallorca.

“It would be everyone's wish to be able to relax the restrictions,” she said, but the reality of the situation forces us to take the necessary measures, so it’s better not to think about specific dates, but about reality."

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