ACatalonia and the Balearic Islands are now also followed by Andalusia. The most populous region in Spain also plans to introduce the mask requirement in public this week. Given the increase in new corona infections, three of the most popular holiday destinations have decided to take this precaution. Regional President Juanma Moreno emphasized at the weekend that Andalusia is not in a critical situation, but the best thing is to prevent it in good time. He also gave another reason: “In some small communities, a kind of tourism phobia arises because the visitors come without a mask,” said the conservative head of government.
So far, neither domestic nor foreign tourists have flocked to the Mediterranean beaches. But above all, the residents of smaller towns, who had been spared the pandemic, wanted to stay among themselves before the border opened three weeks ago. The suspicion was particularly the six million inhabitants of the capital region, in which the pandemic was initially the most violent. Hashtags such as “#madrilenosgohome” have been used to invite Madrid residents to stay at home.
Unlike in Gütersloh, for example, there were never any special restrictions in Spain for regions that were more affected by corona. The end of the alarm on 21 June, in addition to opening the borders to the Spaniards, brought freedom of travel in their own country. The “Madrileñofobia” revived. Politicians are now also debating the fear of the Madriders with the virus in their luggage. It hurts this general suspicion, said the Madrid regional president Isabel Díaz Ayuso.
Hundreds of Germans celebrate in Mallorca
Similar concerns were heard when Mallorca opened to foreign tourists in mid-June. In the past there was talk of “tourist phobia” on the Spanish coasts because of mass tourism, and the rush of tourists compared some to a Spanish flu. At the weekend, many were frightened by the pictures of the “beer street” on Playa de Palma. Hundreds of Germans celebrated without face protection on Friday evening, just like in the days before the corona pandemic. This was also shown in a video by the “Mallorca-Zeitung”: They did not keep the distance requirement, danced, alcohol flowed freely without the intervention of the innkeepers or the police. On Saturday evening, the restaurateurs themselves, according to the newspaper, put things back in order. At the same time, the local press also reported on dozens of privately organized “Covid parties”, where no regulations are observed. Together with the mask requirement announced for this Monday, the Balearic regional government wants to crack down even more on such illegal parties. The new catalog of fines provides for fines of up to EUR 600,000.
But there is also resistance to the obligation to wear a mask in the Balearic Islands. There was a counter demonstration in Palma on Saturday, hoteliers have been complaining about cancellations from Germany and Great Britain since the announcement. Even on the Spanish mainland, not everyone is convinced of the need for face protection, although in Catalonia in the sealed-off Segrià province and in the greater Barcelona area, the numbers continue to rise sharply and around 100 foci of infection are counted across the country. A nationwide survey commissioned by the national health ministry refutes the accusation that the Madrid people are more ruthless than their compatriots. In the region around the Basque city of San Sebastián, 45.5 percent stated that they had never worn mouth and nose protection. In Madrid it is less than five percent. Many residents of the capital even voluntarily wear FFP2 masks on the streets.
There was a strict mask requirement at least on Sunday in the Basque Country and in Galicia: only those who covered their mouths and noses and disinfected their hands were allowed to enter the polling stations in the regional elections. There was a political dispute over whether the election could take place due to new herds of infection in the Galician province of A Mariña, in which 70,000 people had to be quarantined at times. They had been postponed to July 12th because of Corona. In a rush decision on Saturday, the Supreme Court in Madrid had no objection to the sometimes drastic measures taken by the two regional governments: a total of more than 400 positively tested voters have to stay at home and are not allowed to vote. Individuals who were in direct contact with them and are therefore in quarantine at home received precise instructions via SMS. You should fill out your ballot papers at home if possible and throw them in the ballot boxes if there is hardly any demand.