THE Government of the Balearic Islands has vetoed the reopening of nightclubs in phase 3 of Spain’s COVID-19 de-escalation plan.
Despite the central government allowing for their activity in the final phase towards a ‘new normality,’ President Francina Armengol has ordered clubs to remain closed.
This directive has been published in the Balearic Islands Official Bulletin (BOIB) and allows for autonomous communities to adjust rules laid down by Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez.
Speaking at a press conference, Armengol stressed that it was a ‘non priority’ to reopen clubs and that evidence has suggested that a new wave of infections could occur if she permitted their reopening.
She said: “We are not in the ideal conditions to allow nightlife to resume as we have seen an increase in contagions in other countries which have been linked to large gatherings.”
The president added that the utmost caution was needed at this moment and for this reason she did not want to risk ‘any wrong steps’ being made in the region’s fight against coronavirus.
Despite wanting to guarantee maximum health, Armengol explained that the pilot tourism test which will see 6,000 Germans jet into the Balearic Islands this month will still go ahead.
For weeks, nightclubs across the Balearics had been gearing up to reopen in Phase 3, particularly in Mallorca and even more so in Ibiza, whose clubbing scene brings millions of euros in each year.
However, the preventative measures put together by the Federation of Nightlife Entrepreneurs (Espana de Noche) together with the Institute of Spanish Tourist Quality (ICTE) were widely criticised by business owners.
These included the mandatory use of face masks inside venues and the implementation of markers on the floor to ensure clients adhered to social distancing.
In addition to a ban on nightclubs, Armengol has allowed for inter-island travel by air and sea without residents having to justify their reason for travelling.
Private jets will also be permitted, as well as the use of ferries and private boats.