BOOKINGS for holidays in Mallorca have slumped in the wake of the news that wearing a face mask will be compulsory at all times in the Balearic Islands from Monday, according to Spanish press.
Reports quote Melia Hotels chief executive Gabriel Escarrer as saying there has been an “important” slowdown in the pace of hotel reservations in Mallorca and the archipelago’s other islands since the news broke on Thursday that everyone over six in the Balearics will have to wear a mask, even where social distancing in possible, or face a €100 fine.
Escarrer said it was the same story for bookings to Cataluña, where a rule making it obligatory to wear face masks all the time came into force on Thursday.
In Escarrer’s view there should have been consultations with businesses and other social agents before introducing the new regulations.
He said tourists are now opting for other holiday destinations on the Spanish costas where regulations on face mask use are less strict.
Press reports also say the ACH Balearic Hotel Chain Association and the FEHM Mallorca Hotel Business Federation have registered a rise in booking cancellations in the last day or so from the islands’ main tourist markets, like the UK and Germany.
ACH President Gabriel Llobera said the tendency towards recovery since the end of the tourism pilot project had halted, and that the adoption of the face mask measure had come “at the worst time.”
As of Monday masks are obligatory on the street, in public buildings, in shops and on public transport. The exceptions are on the beach, at pools, when eating and drinking at bars and restaurants or when doing sport.