POTENTIAL air bridges between the UK and Majorca and Ibiza have been given a boost as the holiday islands’ coronavirus cases plunge.
The increase in the number of new cases dropped significantly to reach its lowest rise for more than a week.
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Balearic Islands’ health chiefs announced 185 new Covid-19 cases late on Friday, down from 525 on Thursday and 336 on Wednesday.
The rise in the number of new coronavirus positives was the lowest since the previous Thursday, when officials confirmed they had registered 194 new cases.
Earlier this week, however, Spain overtook the US in new daily confirmed coronavirus cases per million people.
Spain’s Health ministry has been insisting in recent days that although the cases are rising, the current cases detected are milder and many asymptomatic.
The news was announced as police in Brit-popular islands started to hand out the first fines to people flouting stricter smoking restrictions, night-time beach bans, and prohibitions limiting the number of people who can socialise together to 10 at any one time.
Minimum fines for flouting a ban on smoking anywhere in public have been set at 100 euros.
Authorities have warned people those who breach the social gathering numbers limit could be hit with fines of up to 3,000 euros.
Balearic Islands’ government spokesman Pilar Costa has said tougher measures may be introduced as the region seeks to combat its second wave of Covid-19 cases and rescue what is left of the tourist season.
She warned today: “If the figures are not positive, we will have to toughen the measures.
“Only if the new restrictions have the desired effect can they be loosened.”
The drop in the number of new Covid-19 cases will offer a glimmer of hope for Brits seeking autumn sunshine getaways.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps suggested last week islands like Ibiza or Majorca could be added to safe travel lists in the future.
The Balearic Islands government campaigned to get the region excluded from the UK government’s new Spanish quarantine rule when it was introduced last month.
At the time the inclusion of the islands sparked uproar among tourists as the rates of infection were far below that of mainland Spain.
A spike in the number of new cases later led to health chiefs in the Balearics admitting the islands were facing a second wave.
One problem Brit holidaymakers could face if air bridges do become a reality is finding accommodation.
Most of Majorca’s small and medium hotel chains are planning to close next week.
In the Majorcan capital Palma 70 per cent of hotels are due to close until March.
Javier Vich, president of the Hotel Association of Playa de Palma and Cala Mayor, told local press: “At the moment 42 of the 72 urban hotels are open, which is 60 per cent of the total.
“The outlook for November is very grim, with around 70 per cent of urban hotels due to close when in a normal year the figure would be 10 per cent.”
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