BRITISH pints have come close to being banned on the holiday islands of Majorca and Ibiza under a tough crackdown leading to the complete closure of Magaluf party strip Punta Ballena.
Regional governors confirmed at lunchtime today they were ordering police to shut down businesses including all pubs, bars and restaurants in the raucous street and two others in S’Arenal near the Majorcan capital Palma.
But Tourism Minister Iago Negueruela announced a series of measures designed to maximise public safety, including bans on tall straws and the use of large-size glasses to discourage drink sharing.
The great British pint was only saved by a narrow margin of 32 cubic centimetres throughout the whole of the Balearic Islands region which include quiet Menorca and the paradise island of Formentera which can only be reached by boat.
A pint is the equivalent of 568 cubic centimetres and the new rules brought in across the Balearic Islands involve a ban on any container over 600 cubic centimetres.
High tables with stalls are also facing the chop across the islands as regional governors attempt to protect the region’s image in the face of the debauched recent scenes involving British youngsters in Magaluf.
Mr Negueruela told a press conference at lunchtime today the use of glasses over half a litre would be banned, which would have meant British holidaymakers in the region having to go without pints.
But an official state bulletin published hours later resolved the scare and made it clear anything under 600 cubic centimetres was okay.
Cathy Sinclair, owner of Sinky’s Scottish Pub in Magaluf which is not affected by the Punta Ballena business ban because it is off the party strip, said this afternoon: “Hearing I can still serve customers pints is the first bit of good news I’ve had in a while.
“We’re known for our pints and it would have been a disaster if we’d had to have scrapped them.
“It’s all becoming very stressful at the moment.
“I had 10 police officers in during our quiz night on Saturday. They said we had too many people on the terrace and told us off for not having hand sanitiser in the bathrooms.
“We have soap in the bathrooms and hand sanitiser outside but not in the bathrooms because people walk away with them.
“At first they told me I could only have 50 per cent of my normal amount of customers on the terrace and 50 per cent inside but it was me who had to point out to the police they’d just changed the rules and I was allowed 75 per cent of my normal maximum capacity on the terrace.
When can I get a blue passport?
“I’m getting very stressed out about the whole thing. There’s no real clarity on what we’re supposed to do and what we aren’t and it’s very confusing for people who have just arrived.”
She added: “The closure of Punta Ballena could work both ways for us but I’ve got friends who run businesses on the strip and it spells disaster for them.
“At the moment the strip is still busy and it’s not really clear when police are going to start enforcing the closures that have been ordered but I don’t expect the bars and pubs to remain open for too much longer.”