Balearic Islands to use drones to stop illegal parties over Christmas

The Balearic Islands are preparing a police controlled operation with drones to monitor compliance with Covid restrictions over the Christmas and New Year periods.

Balearic Islands to use drones to stop illegal parties over Christmas

Public Administrations Minister Isabel Castro announced the plan after a meeting with Government and City Council Representatives in Palma de Mallorca this week.

Four drones will be used in conjunction with the National Police, Guardia Civil and local police to prevent illegal parties and large family gatherings from taking place.

Authorities on the Balearic Islands will also be monitoring social media to put a stop to any Christmas parties with more people than are currently allowed.

“Obviously we can't supply a policeman for every person, we have to rely on individuals being responsible,” Minister Castro told the Mallorca Daily Bulletin. She also said that the authorities will have a zero-tolerance attitude to those who don’t stick to the rules.

Going to a family gathering with more than six will result in fines of between €100 and €3,000 euros, while arranging or attending an illegal party will result in fines of between €3,000- and €60,000.

Since July, when fines of up to €600,000 were approved for the breaching Covid rules, there have been 966 incidents in the Balearic Islands that have resulted in 725 acts of infringement.

Palma de Mallorca. Image: McRonny/Pixabay


Government delegate Aina Calvo said that people should avoid the temptation of risking a fine in order to throw a party. “What is at stake is how many of us have to die before normality returns to our lives,” she told the Mallorca Daily Bulletin.

In addition to drones and social media monitoring, the Balearics have introduced a system whereby customers of bars and restaurants must give their contact details through a QR code in order to be traceable, should a Covid infection have occurred at the establishment.

The information will remain under the protection of the health authorities for 30 days, before being removed.

Francina Armengol, leader of the Socialist Party of the Balearic Islands has also announced the launch of a new mobile app so that people on the islands can be traced in contacted should contagions take place in the premises of bars and restaurants. The measures will affect more than 5,500 hospitality establishments on the islands.

According to La Vanguardia, the Balearic Islands is also proposing that its hospitality establishments install CO2 metres and air purification systems to improve air quality, flow and to minimise the risk of infections. Not complying with these new measures may result in fines for the businesses, once they are approved.

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Two Americans die scaling sea cliffs in Spain

Two American men have plunged to their deaths while scaling sea cliffs on Spain's holiday island of Mallorca, police said on Wednesday.

Two Americans die scaling sea cliffs in Spain
Two men die scaling sea cliffs in Mallorca. Photo: cocoparisienne / Pixabay

The bodies of the pair – aged 25 and 35 – were found on Monday floating in the water near the Cueva de es Cossi in the east of the Mediterranean island, a spokeswoman for the Guardia Civil police said.

They had been practising deep-water soloing, a form of rock climbing without ropes that relies solely on the presence of water at the base of a climb to protect against injury from falls.

“It appears that there was a rockslide and they fell,” the spokeswoman said.

Emergency services rushed to the scene after being alerted by swimmers in the area who spotted the badly bruised bodies of the two men floating in the water, she added.

Spain’s maritime rescue service recovered their remains, which were taken to the nearby port of Portocolom.

The area has long been popular for deep water soloing, also known as psicobloc.

While the sport is usually practised on sea cliffs at high tide, it can also be done on climbs above reservoirs and rivers.