Guardia Civil officers waiting for vaccination at Son Espases. | Miquel À. Cañellas

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Over the festive period some 330 Guardia Civil and National Police officers contracted Covid and had to be put on sick leave. The peak was reached on Christmas Day, since when the numbers have stabilised. One senior officer says that approximately ten per cent of the two forces have been affected.

Over 200 Guardia Civil officers have been on sick leave, most of them in Mallorca. The spread of the virus was so rapid that the situation at certain stations became delicate - Andratx and Manacor in particular.

With the National Police, most of the 120 or so officers were at the Palma headquarters (98 in all). Urgent measures adopted by the two most senior officers in the Balearics - Colonel Alejandro Hernández and Commissioner Gonzalo Espino - prevented the operation of the two squads from being dramatically affected and contagions were contained.

Local police forces have also been hit. At Palma's Sant Ferran HQ, for example, numerous officers have been on sick leave.