Italy v Spain: Match in pictures
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Armed police marched down Magaluf’s popular Penta Ballena strip in order to tame British tourists cheering on their semi-final victory. Dozens of armed officers, some holding truncheons, patrolled the neon-lit strip in an attempt to quell the raucous celebrations and ensure tourists kept to the pavement and remained clear of the road. One police officer was spotted using his pepper-spray on a bare-chested Brit. The man was pushed to the curb as his friends chanted: “Football’s coming home”.
After the spray was used, several partygoers could be seen pulling up their T-shirts to cover their mouths and rubbing their eyes in obvious discomfort as they left the area.
This wasn’t the only clash with the police, as one Brit could be heard shouting “I’ve just been hit by a baton” as the patrol officers cleared the street.
No arrests or reports of injuries were reported.
The Civil Guard was joined by the local town hall-employed police to try to maintain order, as the Brits celebrated another great performance by the Three Lions.
England fans appeared to ignore Spain’s Covid restrictions, with supporters celebrating without face masks or adhering to social distancing rules.
Fans also threw drinks over each other just moments after the final whistle blew, securing England’s place in the final on Sunday.
The show of strength by the police followed a regional government decision to extend special restrictions in place in popular party resorts in Majorca to Magaluf following the UK’s decision to put the Balearic Islands on its green travel list.
The new rules, which also to San Antonio in Ibiza, mean pubs and restaurants in these areas must shut at 2am unless the local council brings forward closing times.
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They also restrict the number of people who can sit together at tables.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Balearic Islands government and the British Consulate had announced they were continuing to join forces to combat so-called ‘trash tourism’.
British Consul General Lloyd Milen said: “We want people to have a holiday to remember, not one to forget.”
He also promoted an update of the Foreign Office’s 2019 ‘Stick With Your Mates’ campaign to help British tourists stay safe on nights out.
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Regional governors and local authority officials whose remit includes Magaluf have been urging UK holidaymakers to behave responsibly since the Balearic Islands went on the green list last week.
Police are expected to be mobilised in even greater numbers at the weekend for the Euro 2020 final between England and Italy.
The final will be watched by a home crowd at Wembley, with kick off commencing at 8pm.
Tourism bosses are keen to reinvent the reputation of the Balearics Islands, which are famed for some of its rowdy late night bar crawls and extravagant boat parties.
Young Brits often flock to the islands for week-long benders during the summer months.
Data released on Friday suggested tourist arrivals to the Spanish islands almost doubled from April to May, although they remained 83 percent below the number seen in May 2019.
Police estimate around 2,500 tourists made the trip to Magaluf over the weekend, much less than the 12,000 it normally attracts during the peak season.
Additional reporting by Natalia Penza
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