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Balearic Islands pass bill to crack down on Ibiza parties

Ibiza’s party season could become confined to the annals of history now that Spanish lawmakers are cracking down on the Balearic Islands’ infamous drinks offers.

The regional government of the Balearic Islands has passed a bill banning happy hours, free bars, and two for one drinks parties, and also makes it illegal for bars to advertise pub-crawls. On top of this, party boats have been banned from certain areas, while licences for new party boats to sell alcohol have been suspended in a bid to curb booze-fuelled events.

Shops selling alcohol will also close between 9.30pm and 8am. Those that break the rules could be closed down for three years, or fined up to €600,000 (£511,000). It is also forbidden to display alcoholic beverages or self-dispensers.

The new measures will be enforced in tourism hotspots El Arenal and Magaluf on Mallorca, and San Antoni on Ibiza.

“With this, the Balearic Islands become the first destination in Europe to fight back against tourism based on excess,” Iago Negueruela, the region’s tourism minister, told reporters last week.

The new rules form part of the government’s drive to develop a more “sustainable and respectful” tourism sector by 2030, “both with the environment as with the quality of life of tourists and residents”, according to a statement.

Tourists themselves are also being targeted by the government. The bill also outlaw’s ‘balconing’, where visitors jump between hotel balconies and sometimes into pools, or taking part in “practices dangerous for the life or physical integrity of people.”

Venues that commit ‘serious offences”, which include selling alcohol during the designated curfew period or selling to minors, could be fined between €60,001 and € 600,000, and “may also entail the closure of the establishment for a maximum period of three years, depending on the circumstances that arise.”

Any other offence included in the decree will be considered minor, with fines of between € 1,000 and € 6,000.

A statement from the government said the new laws “will have a considerable impact outside of Spain.”

Tourism officials in the Balearic islands mooted the idea of banning free drinks as part of all-inclusive holiday packages in 2018 to curb anti-social behaviour.

Ryanair banned passengers from taking duty-free alcohol onboard flights from the UK to Ibiza in 2016 to improve the “comfort and safety” of passengers and crew.

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