TENSIONS were at an all time high after a bar in Palma de Mallorca allegedly failed to follow the strict health protocols laid down in Phase 1 of Spain’s COVID-19 de-escalation plan.
Residents had become enraged after watching a group of 25 people huddled together at a popular bar on Calle Sant Magi in Santa Catalina over the weekend, as reported by Diario de Mallorca.
It is alleged that the individuals were drinking around tightly packed tables placed outside the establishment without adhering to social distancing rules.
While a call to the police was made, a handful of residents decided to take matters into their own hands by confronting the owner and its punters face-to-face.
Demanding that the bar was shut down, it is claimed that the ‘rowdy’ clients defended the owner by throwing insults at the residents.
The group refused to leave the premises before a Policia Local patrol arrived at the scene to diffuse the situation.
Determining that the owner ignored the security measures recommended by the Ministry of Health, the bar was swiftly closed down.
Last week, the Association of Bars, Restaurants and Cafes (CAEB) warned of the serious repercussions for business owners should the COVID-19 safety measures be ignored at terraces.
It came after multiple restaurants and bars in the centre of Palma, Santa Catalina and El Molinar acted with ‘ignorance’ by breaching the 50% capacity rule.
To ensure normality is achieved without posing a risk to health, CAEB stress the importance of practicing social distancing where crowds of people should be avoided at all times.
Since the warning was issued, councillor Alberto Jarabo confirmed that the police have already handed down several fines to establishments which failed to comply with the rules.
He said: “There have already been quite a few penalties for flagrant breaches and those who think they are above the law will face the conseqeunces.”
Jarabo confirmed that the Policia Local will step up controls this week to ensure restaurants, bars and cafes comply with the terrace regulations.
CAEB will also assist the force by reporting any establishment that flouts the rules.
Photography by Allan Binderup.