Passengers arriving at the airport in Menorca in summer 2020

Won't be seeing this for a bit yet.

08-05-2021Gemma Andreu

Let's be honest, it was all to do with the Battle of Aljubarrota, English support for King John I of Portugal against King John I of Castile, and confirmation of the 1373 treaty that had established the oldest alliance anywhere. If only Richard II had sided with the other John; things would surely have been different.

Mind you, it might also have had something to do with a Portuguese incidence rate roughly a quarter that of Spain's as well as the wishes of one or two UK government ministers to head off to the Algarve and a spot of Spring Bank Holiday golf. It was that Portuguese incidence rate, remarkably similar to that of Mallorca and the Balearics, that got everyone in Mallorca and the Balearics riled. We're islands. We're not mainland Spain. What more is there that you don't understand, Grant Shapps? And hadn't you said you were in favour of an "islands' approach"?

Differential treatment

There was no green list "differential treatment". President Armengol and Iago Negueruela's attempts to convince the British Ambassador that such treatment would be a jolly good thing hadn't got them very far, while if there were to have been this treatment, Benidorm and Valencia would have had an even stronger case incidence-wise. And they're not islands. They're part of the mainland, the same mainland with the likes of Madrid, where the incidence was 317 on Friday, just three days after Isabel Ayuso had won her Covid measures-lite election.

The extended curfew ...

Still, there was always the UK's traffic lights review to look forward to and so therefore some weeks of further speculation, which will neatly coincide with the period of the extended curfew. This assumes that it doesn't get extended any further, and if it does, it'll be for reasons that make moving from amber to green rather less likely.

The Balearic government was rushing round like mad things in making sure it had the legal wherewithal to continue shutting the islands down at eleven o'clock. In the process, unlikely stars of the week emerged, such as the president of the High Court panel of judges, Gabriel Fiol, and the head of the Prosecutor's Office, who was far from certain of the legality.

... But an easing of restrictions

The extension was clearly what the government favoured, the health minister having let the cat out of the bag on Monday by saying that the curfew was a "good measure". Tourism minister Negueruela ominously observed that restrictions will "of course" continue after the state of alarm. And so they will, but at least the bars and restaurants were beginning to sense an end to the heaviest of the restrictions. A couple of weeks from now and interiors will reopen, unless the incidence rate has gone belly-up.

If only vaccination were quicker

The vaccination programme was still of course very much a part of the whole tourism and travel scenario. Health minister Gómez, when not offering her opinion as to the goodness of the curfew, admitted that "we would have liked to have reached a higher percentage of vaccination by now". Indeed. Hadn't it once been suggested that there would be the capacity for 200,000 jabs a week? It had been, but only if 200,000 jabs were available. Rather fewer - 80,000 - were now arriving. Curiously, however, as the health ministry was to report, the aim was to vaccinate 50,000 people a week. What about the other 30,000 doses?

A touch of celebrity

Mallorca has badly missed its regular supply of celebrities for us to all admire, but there was a brief reminder of what we have been deprived of last Sunday. Bayern Munich star and one of the world's greatest footballers, Robert Lewandowski, was out and about in Puerto Andratx with wife Anna and children. He owns a modest pile in Calvia and was in Mallorca for a few days while recovering from injury, which were few days enough for him to pick up a parking ticket.

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