THE Government of the Balearic Islands has stepped up their fight against coronavirus in Mallorca, introducing tougher restrictions.

Speaking at a press conference, President Francina Armengol said the island will remain on Level 4 of the COVID-19 tier system but under harsher restrictions.

These will come into force today (Monday, December 28) and be reviewed in two weeks time.

Armengol explained that the new restrictions were ‘necessary’ to enforce as the risk of infection in Mallorca ‘continues to be extreme’.

She said: “We are not only afraid of an increase in cases on New Year’s Eve. We are afraid of every day.”

Under Level 4, bars and restaurants must now close at 6pm every day.

Previously, these hours were only enforced on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Takeaways can however continue until 10pm.

The ban on using the interior area of bars and restaurants remains in place and their terraces must now be reduced to a 25% capacity.

All shops must close at 8pm with the exception of essential services such as pharmacies, supermarkets and petrol stations.

Shopping centres will be prohibited from opening on Saturdays.

Armengol has also advised residents to be home by 8pm despite the curfew being maintained at 10pm.

At present, the COVID-19 incident rate in Mallorca is 607 cases for every 100,000 inhabitants.

This rate has increased considerably in recent weeks, standing at 307 on December 17.

“The rise in infections is absolutely exponential and we must stop the curve from ascending even further,” said Armengol.

Meanwhile, bars and restaurants that fail to follow the new rules could receive a fine up to €600,000.

This penalty was previously set at a maximum of €60,000.

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