Local police will be on the look out. | DANIEL ESPINOSA

At the weekend, there will be increased police controls to ensure compliance with the latest Covid measures. This reinforcement coincides with the first weekend when the relaxation of measures will apply.

On Thursday, there was a meeting of the centre for integrated operational command at which the reinforcement was discussed. The minister for the presidency, Mercedes Garrido, who was one of those in attendance, said afterwards that "after two months of very tough restrictions, establishments have begun to reopen, and this weekend will be special compared with others". Accepting that weekends are time for personal relaxation, she stressed the need for "one last effort to be made" in abiding by the rules.

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Police will therefore be keeping a check on terraces and on beaches. Social gatherings are limited to six people from two households. People going to beaches must respect this rule. As for terraces, these have to close at five in the afternoon. Bars and restaurants cannot sell alcohol on its own to take away.

At the meeting, Garrido noted that there have been 11,661 reports of breaches of Covid rules since last July, with fines amounting to 2.18 million euros. Most of this, 1.6 million, has applied to establishments. She explained that the amount collected in fines is so far "low", as there is a "long" procedure. However, "the important thing is that people are clear that will have to pay the penalty". She insisted that sanctions are not about "tax collection" but to ensure that people comply with the rules.

Also in attendance was the national government delegate, Aina Calvo, who stressed the need for a "slow de-escalation". "We will remain vigilant and alert, but we appeal to responsibility and generosity towards the thousands of workers who are waiting in hope of the tourism season, which we all want to see begin." Calvo pointed to there having been nine illegal parties last weekend, all of which were dealt with by either the Guardia Civil or the National Police.