The Brits are back in town, and this time they mean business. Normal service is being resumed after the coronavirus crisis. Some Magaluf residents, though, are distinctly unimpressed.
Majorca’s biggest nightspot was again playing host to familiar scenes over the weekend despite the introduction of a new 'anti-trash' tourism law. It was planned long before the disease struck
But boozing Britons were up to their old tricks: drinking, singing, jumping on parked cars in the party strip on Punta Bellena. There was no face mask in sight, nor any social distancing.
One angry local raged on social media: “Total chaos in Punta Bellena. Hundreds of sons of b***ches from Great Britain. No face masks on, jumping on top of cars, drunk, drinking alcohol in the street. A disaster. Where’s the police? A f**king disgrace.”
Video footage on social media showed one youngster on the roof of a car outside a fast food takeaway. Another, in a bright orange top, replaced him, leaping on to the bonnet. A third man tried to jump on the boot but had to admit defeat because of the apparently drunken state he was in. The car was badly damaged.
The hooliganism appeared to be a reaction to new rules stipulating the bars shut at 2am. One man was arrested when police arrived to clear the area. But he was released after several hours in custody.
So far only six main bars are open, and residents predict the problem is only going to get worse. More pubs are set to open as the number of British ‘sun, sex and sand’ holidaymakers jetting to Majorca grows.
One resident said: “In two weeks’ time everything’s going to be open so things are going to get worse unless the police manage to put a handle on it. The scenes you saw the other night in Magaluf are the response to tourists’ anger at bars having to close at 2am. There was no violence but it’s the sort of image the local authorities were hoping they wouldn’t have to see this summer.”
Magaluf town hall chiefs predicted earlier this year that the coronavirus crisis could sound the death knell for the alcohol-fuelled brash tourism the party resort has been striving to kill off. But that was before Spain brought forward the re-opening of its borders to international tourism.
The number of British holidaymakers flying to Spain has been growing since June 21 when they were allowed in for the first time in three months. Costa holidaymakers were given a boost on Friday after quarantine was scrapped for people arriving at English airports from Spain, though the rules are still in force for those returning to Scottish airports.
Balearics Islands tourism minister Iago Negueruela said his government would be “especially vigilant” to eradicate drunken tourism. Under new legislation to counter anti-social behaviour, miscreants could face fines for balcony-jumping and bans on booze cruises and two for one drink offers.
The Balearics Islands government threw all its initial efforts into attracting holidaymakers from Germany. They wanted cut down on the numbers coming from the UK. Now, though, they need everyone they can get.
The anti ‘trash tourism’ decree approved in January was billed at the time as the first in Europe to restrict the promotion and sale of alcohol in specific areas of the Balearic Islands including Magaluf and San Antonio on neighbouring Ibiza.
It includes a three-drinks alcohol limit during meals at all-inclusive hotels, a pub crawl ban and fines of more than £50,000 for holidaymakers caught jumping from hotel balconies.