Anger As Unmasked Revellers Party In Spanish Street

Story ByAna LacasaSub EditorJoseph GolderAgencyCentral European News

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This is the moment hundreds of revellers gather in a packed Spanish street without face masks to celebrate a traditional festival, causing outrage at the lack of social distancing.

The startling scenes saw hundreds of people ignoring social distancing in the Ciutadella area of the Spanish Balearic Island of Menorca to celebrate the traditional Sant Joan (Saint John) parties.

The festivities take place every year on 23rd and 24th June but this year’s official celebrations had been cancelled as all official events are banned in the Balearic Islands until July.

However, in the footage, hundreds of revellers are seen cheering, crammed into the narrow street, with many not wearing face masks. A percussionist can be seen being pushed through the crowd on a bike at the end of the clip.

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Another clip shows the revellers gathered around the door to the building where a traditional musician known as a fabioler asks for ‘permission’ to begin the festivities.

When the music begins, the crowd erupts into cheers and applause.

The local police confirmed they had received many calls from local residents angered with the situation. However, officers did not disperse the revellers, who they said left by themselves shortly after the musician began playing.

The Mayor of Ciutadella, Joana Gomila, had asked citizens to celebrate the traditional party in an “intimate” way with their families, urging residents to maintain social distancing and wear face masks.

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Virtual activities have been organised for traditional parties in the Balearic Islands during the de-escalation of Spain’s coronavirus lockdown.

The Sant Joan festivities date back to the 14th century, with residents in Ciutadella making a pilgrimage to a hermitage built in honour of the saint.

It is unclear if any arrests were made or if anybody was sanctioned during the party. Face masks are obligatory for adults in Spain in public places where social distancing cannot be guaranteed.

According to the latest figures from the Johns Hopkins University, Spain has registered 246,752 cases of COVID-19 and 28,325 related deaths.

Ana Lacasa

I am a senior writer and journalist and editor of the Spanish desk for the Central European News agency.

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