By Andrew Atkinson

Bars and restaurants will be able to open their interiors from March 15 the Balearic government has announced.

The latest easing of coronavirus restrictions comes on the back of bars and restaurants opening outside terraces across the Alicante and Murcia provinces after the lockdown lead to the hospitality industry severely affected during the year-plus COVID-19 pandemic outbreak in 2020.

The decision in the Balearic community has been broadly welcomed by the business community.

The easing of coronavirus restrictions this month has seen thousands of people across Spanish provinces once again able to have a meal and drink at outside premises only, with four people seated per table under COVID-19 health and safety guidelines.

Many bars and restaurants’ businesses are now hoping that the Valencia government will follow in the steps of the Balearics in allowing interiors to reopen to the public across the provinces.

The news comes in the wake of the UK Government announcing an ‘exit permit’ will be required from outbound travellers, amid government details of the new Declaration to Travel.

From March 8, anyone who enters a port of departure to travel internationally in England without a completed form will be committing a criminal offence. Even if they are legally entitled to travel.

Airlines, train operators and ferry companies will be required to check that passengers have a valid reason to travel abroad.

At present all holidays in the UK or overseas are illegal under the stay-at-home rule. The earliest possible date for going abroad from England for leisure is May 17.

International travel is allowed only for a limited number of exemptions, including work, urgent family matters and medical treatment.

People resident in Spain are allowed to enter the country with the all relevant documentation in place, due to the coronavirus situation.

The declaration to travel form asks travellers for their personal details, including their address, passport number and destination, and requires them to tick a box to indicate their claimed reason to travel.

The government says: “You may carry evidence to support your reason to travel.”

The Declaration to Travel represents the latest tightening of the most draconian restrictions on movement ever known in peacetime.

In January, the UK Home Secretary Priti Patel warned during the latest coronavirus outbreak: “There are still too many people coming in and out of our country each day.”

She told Parliament: “The Declaration to Travel was a necessary step to protect the public and our world-class vaccination programme”.

The publication of the permit coincided with Cyprus announcing it will open its borders to fully vaccinated travellers from May 1.