Balearics toughens rules on late night alcohol sales

A ban on the sale of alcohol between 9.30pm and 8am has been imposed in areas of “excessive tourism” in Majorca and Ibiza.

A modified decree passed by the government of the Balearic Islands prohibits late-night consumption of alcohol in public thoroughfares in Llucmajor, Palma and Calvia (Magaluf) in Majorca and San Antonio in Ibiza.

People caught drinking outside of authorised areas will be fined between €500-€1,500 under the new rules which came into force on Saturday.

A statement from the Balearic Island Government said: “The most significant modification of the decree is in relation to the consumption of alcohol which will now be prohibited in public thoroughfares in the specific zones affected by this decree. 

“This does not apply to the consumption of alcohol in bars and terraces or legally enabled zones.

“The prohibition of the sale of alcohol in shops in these specific tourism zones from 21.30h until 8am continues to be in force and is not a new decree modification. As before, this applies to shops in these tourism zones only, and does not apply to bars, restaurants, or clubs.”

The bid to crack down on drink-fuelled holidays in tourist areas also sees party boats banned from sailing within one nautical mile of any of the destinations and the vessels are banned from picking up and disembarking passengers in these areas, the Majorca Daily Bulletin reported.

The bans follow the toughening up of a law passed by the Balearic government four years ago to tackle the over-consumption of alcohol.

Up to €16 million will be spent on enforcing the ban on drinking alcohol in public, as well as on security, inspections and increasing the awareness of tourists in “excessive tourism” areas.

But some businesses have criticised the legislation, saying tourists will just go to neighbouring resorts which are not part of the restrictions.

Luis Pomar, a press officer at the Balearic Islands tourism council, told the BBC that the 2020 law had been working to curb anti-social behaviour. He added that he hoped the law would no longer be needed “in three to four years, if we instil in people how to behave”.

He said a commission on “the promotion of civility in tourist zones” would be expanded to include representatives of the countries whose tourists are most associated with problems – the UK and Germany.

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