Footage of drunken British tourists dancing on cars without wearing masks or practicing social distancing have sparked outrage among Spaniards, who fear a second wave of coronavirus may be imminent as a a result of tourists flouting the rules.
Spain re-opened its borders to UK and EU visitors in mid-June following one of the toughest lockdowns in Europe. But the video of tourists behaving badly, which has been shared thousands of times, raised concerns that the sacrifices made during the lockdown would be wasted.
One person commented: “Parts of Spain in lockdown, the elderly shut away in care homes, we all wear masks in the street, but in Magaluf the antisocial and irresponsible Brits do whatever they please. It’s shameful.”
Many have also questioned if party-hard vacationers are the type of tourism Spaniards want or need to kick the economy back into gear. Some of the Balearic Islands, where tourism represents 35 per cent of the region’s economic output, have been keen to distance themselves from alcohol-fuelled parties and poorly behaved tourists.
“For this, the borders are opened?” asked one person on Twitter. “So that English drunks can drink for cheap and mess it up without any control? And then the rest of the businesses have to adopt extraordinary measures to be able to open.”
Last week, the regional government of the Balearic Islands – which includes Majorca – approved a resolution that would make the wearing of face masks mandatory in all public spaces, except on the beach.
According to local daily El Pais, those who violate the rule will be subjected to fines of up to €100 (£90). The resolution also limits gatherings in both private and public spaces to 70 people outdoors and 30 people indoors.
Any parties that exceed the restrictions are deemed illegal and organisers face fines of up to €60,000, (£54,500) while those who attend such parties and do not wear masks may be fined up to €3,000 (£2,700). At least 60 illegal parties have been reported to the authorities in Majorca since tourists began arriving again.
On Tuesday morning, Majorca’s emergency services said it managed three incidents related to crowding on the island’s beaches within 24 hours.
Magaluf. Mallorca. Algo no hacemos bien cuando dejamos que los turistas se comporten así sin mascarilla en plena pandemia. pic.twitter.com/znI6yfnImR— Joan Guirado (@joanguirado)July 11, 2020
“One [incident] was for exceeding the permitted capacity and two for the massive influx of young people during the morning,” the service said on Twitter. “Remember! Respect the safety distance.”
The easing of restrictions led to a rise in recent outbreaks of the virus. Over the weekend, the number of Covid-19 cases surged by 2,050, pushing the total number of infections to 255,953.