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Magaluf: Partying Brits force strip to close

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This time of year Magaluf is usually packed with tourists.

Punta Ballena also known as the "strip" is where you might head out for a drink, bite to eat and then onto a nightclub.

But the authorities have decided to close it because people aren't following social distancing rules.

The Mayor of Calvià, Alfonso Rodríguez said: "We understand the concern, even the anger, of the affected business owners."

The move comes after videos showing German and British tourists partying in packed bars without face masks.

There was also a video of a man jumping up and down on a parked car.

The Mayor says he supports the decision to close, made by the Balearic Islands Regional Government.

"Public health is really important," he said while reassuring people that it's a "safe destination".

Three areas are closing altogether until September, including in the Palma Beach area, two streets known as Calle de la Cerveza and Calle del Jamon.

'It's very sad'

image copyrightLaura
image captionLaura works in Sinky's bar in Magaluf

Laura works in Sinky's Scottish pub in Magaluf. She's told Radio 1 Newsbeat she's always in fear of doing something wrong.

"We're on the same street as BCM - one of the big nightclubs but they're not allowed to open."

The bar she works in is still open.

"We've been open since 11 May but the people who aren't allowed on the strip, they'll be coming into us and you struggle and I feel like I'm on edge all the time."

Since European borders reopened in July, the local government has wanted to market the islands as a safe place to visit.

Last week it became the second Spanish region to make face masks compulsory even when social distance can be guaranteed.

Laura says some people aren't taking the rules seriously enough.

"I feel the bars are finding it really hard to control the people and this is why they've closed down the main strip."

She says it's "sad for people who have just started working again," but understands why it's happened.

'Businesses on the party strip are now going to suffer'

image copyrightFeel Summer
image captionA Feel Summer event in the summer of 2019 in Magaluf

Mark Bottomley, one of the owners of Feel Summer - a company that sells tickets to festivals - pool parties and clubs on the Island, says they've had to cancel all their events.

"Due to the actions of a few tourists, businesses on the party strip are now going to suffer," Mark said.

"We do feel this is a little extreme as it's unfair to tarnish every single company with the same brush.

"However, it is apparent that tourists also have a part to play in acting responsibly and with respect for the resort and locals that live here in Magaluf."

People who had been planning to go on holiday to Magaluf have been posting on Facebook that they may have to change their plans.

At the moment it's only the strip that has closed and the square in Magaluf is still open where there are lots of bars.

The local council says, as it stands the strip will be closed for two months but it it could be lifted if the circumstances change for the better.

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