Michael Douglas and family in Palma, Mallorca

Ice-creams for a couple of the Douglases.

29-05-2021Miquel A. Cañellas

You know how it is. You wait ages for a celebrity to appear and then three of them come along at the same time. Mallorca can normally compete with the best of them when it comes to the Celebrity Index, but in recent times this has dwindled to just the occasional footballer - current and retired, Robert Lewandowski and Bastian Schweinsteiger. All of a sudden, however, Hollywood had landed. There was Joan Collins, while The Darling Buds of May had blossomed into Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas. The Douglases went unrecognised, so it was said, as they strolled along Palma's shopping streets. Unrecognised, that is, except by someone with a camera. They had done their utmost to avoid recognition, as masks were the order of the day, until Catherine lowered hers in order to lick an ice-cream.

Let it rain, let it rain, let it rain

Celebrities or any British holidaymakers determined to cock a snook at the amber list would have been satisfied by encountering reasonable enough spring weather, and so it was as well that the very few flights from the UK had waited until Monday and for Spain's Covid open-door policy to come into effect.

It tipped down with rain last Sunday, much to the great joy of bar and restaurant owners who, depending on whether they had terraces or not, were able to welcome 30% or 50% capacities inside. Let it rain, let it rain, let it rain was the restaurant refrain. Yes, but what about the lost trade on terraces because it was chucking it down?

Green-list fever

PCR-free travel from the UK to Spain started on Monday, but obviously remained PCR-extremely expensive travel for the return journey. Green-listing speculation was, meanwhile, reaching fever pitch. Over the next few days, until there is something concrete, the fever could land some in ICU if they haven't been vaccinated, such is the hanging-on to the every smallest hint being dropped by anyone who cares to offer a green-list opinion or comment.

We had never heard of Robert Courts before, but he was one who sparked off some frenzy. He said that the Joint Biosecurity Centre has been asked, where possible, to separate islands from mainlands by means of the traffic-light system. His boss, Grant Shapps, was to confirm this. Could Mallorca thus look forward to happier tourist days ahead from June 7? Will the season be saved? We will soon find out.

The EU's certificate trial

June 7 is also the date, we learned, when trials of the EU's not-the-vaccine-passport will start, and Spain will be there, leading the way in piloting the digital Covid certificate. Which only went to prove how bizarre and disjointed Covid travel policy is. UK green light for Mallorca on June 7, and Brits can flood in with seemingly proof of nothing, while their German counterparts will need a trial certificate of test, vaccination or immunity through having had Covid.

The vaccination league table

Vaccination rates remain an issue for safe travel, and the rate in the Balearics has always been slower than most of Spain. The islands are currently stuck in fourteenth place in the regional vaccination league table, only above tourism minnows such as La Rioja and the two north African cities. But help was clearly at hand, as the regional ministry announced that yet another record series of vaccine deliveries will be winging to their way to the islands next month. And from this Wednesday, it will be the turn of the 45 to 49-year-olds to head for the vaccination centres.

Cruise ships, don't mention Italy

With the cruise industry having been urging the Spanish government to allow international cruises to restart (there now is a go-ahead), it was perhaps rather unfortunate that a Royal Caribbean giant of the seas (Odyssey of the Seas to be precise) anchored in the bay of Palma in order to allow five crew members to be taken off as they had tested positive. The ship had come from Civitavecchia in Italy. If you can remember that far back, it was cruise ships from Italy in Palma in March last year which caused Covid panic.

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