Arona Ayuntamiento to increase policing as public demand action after young people ignore rules intended to protect public health and the economy

Updated 10 August: Arona Ayuntamiento says that after dozens of young people were moved on last Saturday night from partying outside the Veronicas for failing to comply with security measures the Council will strengthen controls in this area. Arona says that most of those identified were between 18 and 23 years old, and this is the age group that has led to large gatherings as nightlife venues gradually reopen throughout Tenerife. 

Clearly public reaction, especially on social media, to Arona Policía Local’s distress and frustration has caused the Ayuntamiento to react speedily, and it now says that reinforcements will be available to control, undertake surveillance and deterrence in popular leisure areas to ensure compliance with health safety measures not just to contain the pandemic but to try to limit the economic damage that it is generating. 

Original post 9 August: Despair and fury, frustration and an overwhelming sense of futility, are behind the police asking what the hell they are supposed to do, four of them, dealing with the crowd that gathered last night outside bars in the Veronicas strip. Four of us, they say, at least 500 of them. We could test them on arrival but we don’t, and we could make more of airport controls, but we don’t … and then people expect the police to have superpowers, and they don’t.

The police have all my sympathy faced with this type of situation. From my own mailbag it’s clear that many felt that Spain should not have reopened to tourism, but any Government has to have at least half an eye on the economy as well as public health. Others felt that it was ironic that it was the UK putting those returning from Spain into quarantine when Spain was running the risk of tourists bringing covid here. Both stances were derided …

And now the Golf del Sur has several establishments closed because a British golfing tourist has tested positive, and the effects of last night’s antics in the Veronicas are yet to be established. To be fair, it’s not just tourists that are the problem because over the past 72 hours police have broken up an illegal rave in a Güímar finca of Canarian youngsters and a party on a beach in La Orotava municipio which seems to have been an anti-vax-type attempt to spread Covid in some kind of deluded effort at creating herd immunity.  

“Ahora que llamen a Batman. Ya no me quedan superpoderes” say the police (Now they call Batman, but I don’t have any superpowers left). Sadly, neither does the public …   

26 Comments

  1. I am so shocked by this, I cannot find the words. Just close down the area. Terrible for the bar owners and staff that might be, but when these selfish youngsters have left and gone home, WE will be the ones left to pick up the pieces, possibly with more cases and a completely demoralised police force.

  2. Mary – I am totally sick of seeing these selfish youngsters – quite a fair smattering of Brits amongst them I’m sure. I feel sorry for the police trying to control crowds like this – trying to enforce law. order, health needs as well as a certain degree of understanding that these idiots, no matter what nationality, are on holiday. I quite understand the need to try and open up tourism again (I was brought up in the hospitality game) but we’ve never, in most of all our lives, had such a health situation as 2020! Close these bars etc. again before we end up with things as in March and complete lockdown again. It wasn’t too bad first time round but do we want to go through it again just because of selfish, mindless behaviour?

  3. The 4 police also have my sympathy but why only 4? Let’s face it, there is no shortage of police here.

    These people are deliberately breaking the law. Introduce a 9 O’clock curfew. Shut local bars and clubs. Get some water cannons. Have police there en mass. Get tough. Show an example by arresting a dozen or so using excess force if necessary. We don’t need Batman.

    But that wont happen because national papers across Europe would splash such action across thier front pages and as Mayor Vaughn said : I’m only trying to say that Amity is a summer town. We need summer dollars.

    But what signal does this sent to others who are law abiders and are really struggling to make a living? Answer: why the hell bother.

  4. Author

    Ray, they were Policía Local I was talking to, and they’re council funded. That’s why only 4. Of course they could call out the Nationals or the Guardia … and then what would they be accused of?! Calling in the riot squad mightn’t be quite the look but what is the answer then?! Very many will agree with you, and Mary, and Theresa …

  5. It is really difficult to understand these types of cult gatherings. My view is that these people have got away with it and feel they can now do anything they like. No Police action against them has happened in the UK e.g.large gatherings such as Bournmouth and BLM protests. The Police are walking on eggshells in the UK and all this will get worse before it gets better. We thought the new govt. Would take control but unfortunately the have lost control and our respect. Sorry to be so pessimistic.

  6. There is a report in the papers today about another “rave” on Los Patos beach. These do not appear to be tourists as it seems that they were camping in tents.
    I suspect that a large number of those at the Veronicas were residents. Unfortunately these meetings are happening worldwide.

  7. Some good news my friend on Golf del Sur who tested positive on the San Blas blood test on Saturday took the full swab test on Sunday. He has just received the absolutely accurate result from Public Health that he is negative. As one of those affected I have talked to Public Health who have told me that the 60 euro blood test is so inaccurate that they disregard it. They told me people should save their time and money by avoiding this test. My friend not only wasted 60 euros but his entire family went through hell all weekend. People if worried should only undergo the full to avoid either unnecessary worry or false hope.

  8. Steve. Our police here are more than capable of dispersing unruly crowds. Catalonia can vouch for that. UK policing is a joke in comparason.

    The Guardia would be a good first step Janet and to be frank the blatent flouting of the law as seen in the video has to be stopped at and if that takes forceful action by the authorites then so be it. After all, isn’t that the appropriate action that law abiding citizens demand and rightfully expect when others in our community conduct an illegal act?

  9. Author

    The raves aren’t tourists, but the police tell me that the Veronicas incident was tourists, not mainly British ones, though.

  10. Don’t get me wrong Janet. I’m not anti tourist. Our economy needs them. Problem is allowing any tourist (and anyone else) to flout rhe rule of law. We all understand how dangerous these times are and authorities need to protect the community. It is their primary duty.

  11. Author

    Couldn’t agree more Ray, as usual with your comments!

  12. Tourists yet again getting the blame. The spreading party on los patos beach were in all likelihood residents. All the bars in the Golf are now reopening after staff having negative tests. So maybe the Manchester golfer can now be lowered from the gallows if not too late

  13. Author

    I knew this would be argued … why do you think that staff testing negative means a tourist didn’t bring covid to south Tenerife?! There was a case of a tourist with covid, and yet the staff of all businesses implicated tested negative. That’s great, but it doesn’t mean the tourist wasn’t here with covid!

    Tourists are clearly partly to blame, but as I’ve stressed, so are young residents and indeed older ones having family get-togethers too, and patera arrivals …

  14. While the Covid-19 alarm in Golf del Sur proved to be a storm in a tea-cup (this time), all the bar owners involved are to be commended for their swift action and open communication.

  15. Not sure tourists can be blamed when 60-70% of people with Covid have no symptoms and presumably don’t have a high temperature, so pass through the airport screening. Added to that are the presymptomatic people who take a few days to get symptoms.

    In Vietnam they had a locally transmitted case pop up after 99 days on none. It is thought it was passed asymptomatically through a chain of people for 99 days. That is why lockdowns never got rid of it anywhere.

  16. Author

    No-one is “blaming tourists”. Some, however, have been responsible for the rise in numbers … as I said, along with youngsters, oldsters, patera occupants … and a global pandemic that doesn’t recognize national boundaries anyway.

  17. Chris: Absolutely the lockdown was just kicking the can down the road. Sadly many believed it would ‘beat’ the virus and other such nonsense. Now Sanchez and his peers have pretty much bankrupted the country, EU & the World what happens if/when a second wave occurs. Do we Lockdown again? If not why not? do we not matter second time around.. ? Interesting times.

  18. The only strategy that I have seen proposed that made sense is to shield the vulnerable until the rest have achieved herd immunity. Since most of the vulnerable are no longer working the effect on the economy would have been much less and life would have got back to normal much quicker.

    And the young could get on with their lives. People who say they are selfish forget that that is the best time of their lives and it is selfish to say they should not be socialising.

    I am annoyed that I can no longer socialise with my friends and most of them I met in my early 20s. I had flu then and was the most ill I have ever been but never had is since because the best time to have these things is when you are young and fit.

    The problem with this disease is it new, so nobody has immunity to it. I expect the young of today will have no problem with it when they become old if they have it now.

  19. There is no such thing as herd immunity with Covid-19. It would require around 70% of the population to have the virus at more or less the same time. Then it only lasts 2-3 months before antibodies are completely depleted. Meanwhile the carrier will pass the virus on to people who may be much more likely to have serious complications than they are. Nobody should be relaxed about Covid, even slight symptoms can leave serious long-term damage to brain, lungs heart etc.

  20. Well society is doomed then because who is going to get vaccinated every 2 months?

    Yes a few people get bad symptoms but a big majority get none at all and most of the rest have a mild respiratory disease. The ones that get very ill have an autoimmune reaction where their own immune system malfunctions and starts destroying their organs and making their blood sticky.

    With an R0 value of around 3 it wouldn’t take long for 70% of the younger population to get it without social distancing. And that is presumably how we got through all the previous new diseases throughout history.

  21. This virus, like all others, can never be eradicated by using current technology available to the medical world. Thought most understood that. All we can best achieve at the present time is management in order to keep the R rate to less than 1. That is possible, as proven, by implementing and respecting social behaviour measures. That does not mean we all need to be locked away. It simply means we respect the virus and use common sense as restrictions are slowly eased. Unfortunately their are some in society who won’t comply hence it spreads out of control again again. As for the imunity period following the use of any vaccine produced using traditional manufacturing technology the court is still out. No one knows for sure and only time will tell but experts suggest that immune response to this virus should not be any different to others that we already understand. That’s about 2 or 3 years.

  22. Yes if we all stop socialising with our friends and family indefinitely it would stay under control.

    Unfortunately many would rather socialise with their friends and family and will ignore the rules. This was always predicted by the people that said a lockdown would not work. They said it would need to last until a vaccine and that would be about 18 months, so economically impossible. They also said people would get weary of it and stop complying.

    Unfortunately those “experts” didn’t have the ear of the governments but they were absolutely right. Economic necessity has meant all governments have relaxed restrictions and their lockdowns achieved nothing.

    The tenerife daily case figures now look about the same as they did a few days after the lockdown in March. It is groundhog day.

  23. I socialise with my friends on a regular basis Chris. They are in our bubble and they also respect the rules and that’s all we (that’s means all of us) have to do; Wash hands regularly, wear masks, socially distance, don’t meet up in big crowds.

    In other words, don’t do what was seen in the video. I know some may find that hard to take in but It’s not rocket science is it.

    Lockdown did work. What we see hapening today (ignoring the legal requirements) does not work.

  24. I don’t count social distancing and wearing masks as socialising.

    Aren’t you supposed to keep 1.5m away from anyone not in your household or wear a mask?

    What are the rules for a social bubble in Tenerife? In the UK I think it is just one single adult can bubble with another household.

  25. Author

    yes, 1.5m distancing required, groups of up to 10.

    I’ll close this to comments now so that discussion can move to the New Normal post where I’ve detailed today’s reaction to the problem outlined in this post.

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