As tourists flout coronavirus laws, Mallorcan residents fear yet another wave

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(CNN) – Scenes of drunk young tourists frolicking without a mask, jumping on cars and aggressively chanting in the streets of a seaside resort have raised concerns in Spain as the country falters on the brink of a new wave of coronavirus.

Authorities say such incidents, the video of which was shared by a local journalist but has not been verified by CNN, are isolated.

But residents who have been severely restricted to limit the spread of the disease fear that ill-behaved visitors could undermine their previous sacrifices.

Tourists seated near Palma de Mallorca on July 12.

Clara Margais / alliance photo / dpa / AP

Spain has suffered one of the longest and strictest coronavirus blockages in Europe, but the virus has spread across the country, with 255,953 cases and 28,406 deaths, according to figures from the Johns Hopkins University.

The wearing of masks in public places is now compulsory – with a few exceptions, such as eating, drinking or swimming – after the entry into force of a new law on Monday. The rules apply even in situations where social distancing can be observed, and from July 20, people taken without a mask risk fines of € 100 (around $ 114).

Businesses face fines of up to € 600,000 (approximately $ 680,000) for failing to comply with the limits on the number of people allowed inside bars and restaurants or repeatedly breaking the rules.

But videos and photos shared on the social networks of the seaside towns of the island of Mallorca show groups of people singing and dancing nearby without masks.

An incident involved meeting a group at a boat party near the village of Portals Nous, between Palma de Mallorca and Magaluf, and a local campaign group posted the photos on Facebook.

A spokesperson for Salvem Portals Nous, Bendinat i Costa d’en Blanes-Punta Portals, a local organization that works to maintain quality of life in the area, told CNN that these incidents have been isolated and that people are ready to welcome tourists again. to the island after closure to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Mallorca was not as badly affected as parts of mainland Spain, the spokeswoman said.

Majorca now welcomes tourists but with strict rules on the wearing of masks and social distance.

Majorca now welcomes tourists but with strict rules on the wearing of masks and social distance.

Clara Margais / alliance photo / dpa / AP

“But all of that can change,” she said. “It only takes a handful of people with Covid to trigger another peak. “

Locals have very well obeyed Spain’s strict lockdown, the spokeswoman said, and some wonder why some visitors don’t seem to be sticking to the new rules.

“There is a little bit of resentment,” she added.

Spain is now trying to revive tourism, which accounts for around 12% of the country’s GDP and employs over 13% of Spanish workers, according to government statistics.

In Mallorca, local authorities are doing their best to manage the tension between welcoming tourists and their money on the island and ensuring the safety of the population.

Calvia City Council, which administers Portals Nous and Magaluf, has acknowledged that there have been isolated incidents of people breaking the rules.

Local police and the Guardia Civil are working to make sure people follow the new rules, the board told CNN in a statement, and authorities are also appealing to people’s sense of personal responsibility.

And while business owners want to pick up visitors, there is the downside of “those who don’t know how to behave,” said the spokesperson for the local organization.

“So many people here depend on tourism for a living, something has to give them,” she said. “You can’t just close for the whole season and say no, that’s it. It is very delicate. “

Emergency services tweeted on Tuesday that they had responded to three incidents in Mallorca in the past 24 hours, one in an overcrowded business and two others linked to large rallies.

They called on citizens to respect the rules of social distancing, as did local authorities.

Isabel Castro, minister of public administration for the Balearic Islands regional government, said that security forces carried out 51 interventions over the weekend, imposing 24 sanctions on those who break the rules on coronaviruses.

“We cannot allow the scenes of this weekend to be repeated,” Castro said in a statement on Sunday.

“We cannot let the carelessness of a small minority endanger the health of everyone else. “

Castro said the campaign to ensure businesses and individuals abide by the rules will continue for the rest of the summer.

Spain reopened its borders to most European countries on June 21 and on July 3, the British government announced that travelers returning from Spain would be exempt from a 14-day isolation period.

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