Ibiza Covid19 Update – Mon 30/03/20

· Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez has announced that all non-essential workers must also now stay at home decreasing movement even further.

Essential workers are those employed in the following sectors: food, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, vets, opticians, hygiene products, press, fuel, tobacconists, IT and telecommunications, pet food, internet vendors and dry cleaners. Everyone else must stay at home unless it’s a justified outing.

· At present the Covid19 figures for Ibiza are as follows

77 confirmed cases in total
33 in hospital being monitored
15 in hospital in intensive care
28 under surveillance at home
1 death (85 year old man with underlying health issues)

In addition to these 76 ‘active cases’ there are also 6 health workers at home in self-isolation and controlled by UVAC plus another 16 under ‘active surveillance’.

In the above figures are 2 patients from Formentera – the first confirmed cases on the island

*An update of these figures is given daily at around 1pm by the Balearic Health Ministry and will be posted on relevant Facebook pages

· Can Misses hospital has converted an operating theatre into more ICU beds plus added a further 33 beds for potential Covid19 patients. With this new expansion the hospital has 159 beds designated for patients with Covid-19 of which 41 are currently occupied according to the Balearic Health Office.

· The Balearic Government has chartered 4 flights to bring medical supplies from China in the coming weeks The 1st flight is due to arrive today after a 48 hour journey with the others scheduled to arrive on 8, 14 and 20 April. The cargo will be mainly masks and gowns and it is expected to exceed 70 tons in total.

· Authorities on the island continue to fine those not complying with the state of alarm. The Santa Eulalia Local Police have filed 3 complaints in supermarkets against people who were shopping as a couple which is not allowed under current regulations. Also the National Police in Ibiza Town detained a a 29-year-old man found wandering the streets, it was his 4th infraction for disobedience.

· Christina van Ederen, a well-known real estate agent on the island has raised over 40,000 EUR for the purchase of medical equipment. So far 30,000 has been spent on 5000 FFP2 masks, 100 protective suits and 10 stethoscopes. Once the medical supplies arrive in Ibiza Christina will deliver to the Can Misses medical team who say they are aware of this kind gesture and applaud the generosity.

· The Casa Manolo restaurant in Playa den Bossa yesterday prepared and delivered paella free of charge to the health workers at the Can Misses Hospital. The owner of the popular restaurant personally delivered the 120 servings and was greeted with a round of applause.

· Spanish Authorities have specifically warned about fake news so local government websites and credible press/social media pages are the best places to gather important information, please pass on wherever possible.

· The situation is evolving every day however the message is very clear – please stay at home wherever possible and keep a cool and calm head. By following these guidelines, together, we will beat this disease and get on with the rest of
our lives.

Best Regards – Stay Safe and Stay Home

With special thanks to Lesley Donald, Tricia Templeton and Julian Cobby

VERY IMPORTANT: INFORMATION TAKEN FROM CREDIBLE PRESS AND GOVERNMENT SOURCES HOWEVER THE SITUATION IS CHANGING VERY QUICKLY. THIS BLOG IS WRITTEN FOR INFORMATION PURPOSES ONLY AND I TAKE NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY ERRORS GIVEN IN GOOD FAITH

Ibiza: The Biggest Test is Yet to Come

2 weeks of lockdown has been done. 14 long days at home doing all the jobs we never wanted to do in the first place. Trying to keep busy, stopping the kids from fighting while looking longingly outside and planning that 1st day back to normality.

It’s not been easy and the cracks are starting to show. Mums with kids in small apartments are getting restless. Dogs are getting itchy feet. The frenetic elated overreaction to the news that the limit on car occupants had been amended from 1 per vehicle to 1 per row showed how much these isolation measures are hurting.

We are half way through an initial 30 day lockdown and now Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez has announced that for the next 2 weeks all non-essential workers must also stay at home decreasing movement even further. It was a bit mystifying watching the workmen on construction sites chatting and carrying on as usual while the rest of us were confined to quarters. Not any more as Spain goes into full lockdown.

Essential workers by definition are those employed in the following sectors: food, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, vets, opticians, hygiene products, press, fuel, tobacco, IT and telecommunications, pet food, internet vendors and dry cleaners. That’s your lot. Everyone else must stay at home unless it’s a justified outing.

If the experts are to be believed then Ibiza will hit peak contagion numbers next weekend. After that the curve should hopefully go on a downward trajectory. Let’s pray this is correct and also be thankful that compared to other places we have had it relatively easy so far.

This is a big test for the island. Not just to get through the month of self isolating but a big test on its economy with the summer looming. The usual winter anxiety has now been replaced with the stress of a summer that will start late in a best case scenario and might not even start at all in the worst.

Ibiza relies on tourism and without the connectivity of the airlines it will be cut off from the paying public. Even if the virus passes earlier than expected we are still beholden to when there’s a full flying program up and running again.

Another concern is that if the low cost carriers can’t survive this crisis and airlines become nationalised again, like Alitalia has been, then the flight market might go back to the bad old days of low availability and high prices making Ibiza a playground only for the rich.

The worst thing, of course, is that nobody knows. We don’t know when the virus will pass. We don’t know when Ibiza and and the world will get back on its feet again and we don’t know what effect it will have on our lives.

Ibiza will recover. it’s natural beauty, it’s close proximity to hundreds of million of Europeans and its hard earned reputation means that when we do come out the other side then business will carry on but the business might be different from before and the challenge will be to realign yourself and meet it head on.

Lockdown and the Covid19 crisis has been a big test but I suspect the biggest test that the White Isle has ever had to face in its modern history is still yet to come.

Ibiza Covid Update – Thu 26 March

· The Spanish State of Alarm has now been officially extended until 11 April 2020

· At present the Covid19 figures for Ibiza are as follows

46 confirmed cases in total
17 in hospital being monitored
8 in hospital in intensive care
20 under surveillance at home
1 death ( an 85 year old man with underlying health issues)

In addition to these 45 ‘active cases’ there are also 8 health workers at home in self-isolation and controlled by UVAC plus another 14 under ‘active surveillance’.

*An update of these figures is given daily at around 1pm by the Balearic Health Ministry and will be posted on relevant Facebook pages

· Balearic Health Minister Fransesc Albertí announced that a shipment from the Ministry of Health was due to arrive in Mallorca on Wednesday with supplies including 1200 gowns and 135,000 masks – 9,000 for special protection, 3,200 for maximum protection and 122,800 surgical. This material “will be distributed proportionally among the islands,”said Alberti

· The restriction of only 1 person per vehicle has been amended to 1 person per row of seats but maintaining the maximum possible distance. This applies to all vehicles up to 9 seats but you still must have a JUSTIFIED reason for being in the vehicle and will be OPEN TO INTERPRETATION by the authorities so PROCEED WITH CAUTIONYOU HAVE BEEN WARNED SO DON’T TAKE ANY CHANCES UNLESS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY.

The exact wording of the original law said the following. “During the validity of the state of alarm, people may only circulate along the public roads or spaces to carry out the following activities”

a) Acquisition of food, pharmaceuticals and basic necessities.
b) Assistance to health centres, services and establishments.
c) Travel to the workplace to carry out their work, professional or business provision.
d) Return to the place of habitual residence.
e) Assistance and care for the elderly, minors, dependents, people with disabilities or especially vulnerable people.
f) Displacement to financial and insurance entities.
g) Due to force majeure or need.
h) Any other activity of a similar nature.

· The provisional homeless shelter installed by the Island Council at the Blancadona Sports Complex and managed br the Red Cross is already close to it’s limit as it now has 38 occupants (35 male/3 female) according to Santi Mari, Director of Social Services. There are only 5 free beds so “other alternatives will have to be found if required” said Marí.

· 4 hotels in Ibiza and 1 in Formentera will be at the disposal of the authorities to carry out supply and healthcare work in the face of the continuing health crisis. The Ibiza complexes are Duquesa Playa Apartments, Bonsol Apartments, San Francisco Apartments and Venus Apartments. While in Formentera it is the Hotel Illes Pitiüses

· ‘El Pais’ newspaper in Madrid is reporting that the new rapid tests for Covid19 which the Spanish Government wanted to roll out to start testing the broader layers of the population to find out the real size of the infection do not work as well as expected. This has been confirmed by several microbiology laboratories in large hospitals where an anonymous source said: “They do not detect the positive cases as expected”. The rapid tests, manufactured by the Chinese company Bioeasy, are reported to have a sensitivity of 30%, when it should be higher than 80%.

· Roadblocks and controls are continuing on the White Isle and San Antonio and Santa Eulalia police have incorporated the use of drones to broaden controls. At street level, municipal agents, the Guardia Civil and the National Police continue to deploy dozens of controls to verify that the movements of citizens around the island are motivated and perfectly justified.

· On Tuesday a total of 75 complaints were filed in Ibiza Town. National Police denounced 43 citizens with 8 deployed controls, while the Local Police denounced a further 32 people.

· The authorities have specifically warned about fake news so local government websites and credible press/social media pages are the best places to gather important information, please pass on wherever possible.

· The situation is evolving every day however the message is very clear – please stay at home wherever possible and keep a cool and calm head. By following these guidelines, together, we will beat this disease and get on with the rest of
our lives.

Best Regards – Stay Safe and Stay Home

With special thanks to Lesley Donald, Tricia Templeton and Julian Cobby

VERY IMPORTANT: INFORMATION TAKEN FROM CREDIBLE PRESS AND GOVERNMENT SOURCES HOWEVER THE SITUATION IS CHANGING VERY QUICKLY. THIS BLOG IS WRITTEN FOR INFORMATION PURPOSES ONLY AND I TAKE NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY ERRORS GIVEN IN GOOD FAITH

Tue 24 March – Ibiza Covid19 Update

Here’s an overview of relevant information from the last 24 hours

There are now 35 confirmed cases of the virus in Ibiza. In addition it has been reported that a further 2 elderly residents from the Can Blai retirement home in Santa Eulalia have also tested positive so the numbers may rise today.

19 people are currently in Can Misses Hospital of which 6 are in a critical condition in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). 13 are being treated in isolation. A further 16 are being monitored in their homes by the UVAC mobile care units. These numbers include 4 health workers while another 28 health workers are under surveillance. There has been 1 death so far in Ibiza.

Ibiza and Formentera Health Service has launched a new psychological care program for medical professionals to help manage their emotional state during the current health crisis. Management said ‘the exceptional nature of this moment requires us to be offering support to those who need it’.

Carolina Escandell, the Social Welfare Minister for the island has asked for more protective material for the health workers and personnel who work at the Cas Serres hospital, the fire department, the centre for minors and the supervised flats of mistreated women. She said “the coverage right now is adequate but the lack of material is an issue that worries me a lot”.

State Security Forces continue to carry out controls at all ports and airports of the Balearic Islands in compliance with the State of Alarm. As a result a couple who had planned to travel last weekend from a high risk area in Italy to Ibiza were detected at the airport of origin and not allowed to board the plane for public health reasons.

Police and Guardia Civil are deploying checks at busy points throughout the Islands major towns to ensure only 1 occupant per vehicle (except in justified and emergency cases) and to confirm the reason for the journey. This caused a major traffic jam on the way out of San Antonio yesterday that was picked up by the press. On Sunday agents in Ibiza Town filed 104 complaints, 83 by the National Police and 21 from the Local Police.

Work vehicles are allowed 1 passenger plus driver only when transported materials requires 2 people for handling but always complying with self-protection measures. Vehicles whose sole purpose is to transfer workers are not allowed. In addition, a works control campaign has started to inspect the safety conditions of the workers with special attention to self-protection measures.

Ibiza Town Council has announced the postponement of the 2020 edition of Medieval Festival scheduled for 7-10 May but will look to hold it later in the year if possible. IMS – The International Music Summit – has officially announced that their 2020 edition is now cancelled and will roll over to 2021.

The Spanish Government is analysing how to provide aid to those who have problems paying their rent during the Covid19 crisis. José Luis Ábalos, Minister of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda said he hopes to have measures in place by next week. Ábalos also warned that more controls would be in place to prevent people moving to their 2nd homes over the Easter holiday period.

The authorities have specifically warned about fake news so local government websites and credible press/social media pages are the best places to gather important information, please pass on wherever possible.

The situation is evolving every day however the message is very clear – please stay at home wherever possible and keep a cool and calm head. By following these guidelines, together, we will beat this disease and get on with the rest of
our lives.

Best Regards – Stay Safe and Stay Home

With special thanks to Lesley Donald, Tricia Templeton and Julian Cobby

VERY IMPORTANT: INFORMATION TAKEN FROM CREDIBLE PRESS AND GOVERNMENT SOURCES HOWEVER THE SITUATION IS CHANGING VERY QUICKLY. THIS BLOG IS WRITTEN FOR INFORMATION PURPOSES ONLY AND I TAKE NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY ERRORS GIVEN IN GOOD FAITH

Ibiza Covid19 Update – Monday 23/03/20

As we enter the 2nd week of lockdown here’s an overview for Monday 23 March 2020 of all relevant Ibiza Covid19 information from the last few days.

· Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced on Sunday that the State of Alarm, that currently runs until 29 March, will be extended for 2 more weeks until 11 April. This needs approval from Spain’s lower house, the Congress of Deputies, but this should be a formality. If passed the lockdown will continue until the Easter weekend. Congress will vote on March 25.

· Ibiza now has 31 confirmed cases of the virus and has experienced its 1st death, an 85 year old man with underlying health issues. 14 patients have been admitted to Can Misses Hospital and are in a stable condition, 4 are serious in intensive care and 13 are showing mild symptoms and are isolating at home under the supervision of the UVAC. There are currently 331 cases in the Balearic Islands with 9 deaths and 17 discharges.

· UVAC (Unidades Volantes de Atención al Covid19) are the mobile ‘Flying Covoid19 Care Units’. Ibiza has 5 and Formentera has 1. Each UVAC is staffed with a doctor, nurse and driver who have received special training and education. Their objective is to professionally care for patients infected with Covid19 offering safe and quality home care, treating infected cases with mild symptoms in a stable clinical situation and guaranteeing adequate levels of infection prevention for the people living with the patient.

· A resident at the Can Blai retirement home in Santa Eulalia has tested positive for the virus and is in hospital. All other residents and 6 staff have been tested and are awaiting results.

· By next week the Balearic Islands should have a new rapid test available that can confirm the presence of the virus within 10 minutes. Tests will be carried out on mild patients and will be coordinated from the Islands’ health centres. The tests can also be carried out at the affected person’s home, in a mobile health unit or in a special area set up in health centres.

· Francesc Albertí, spokesman for the Autonomous Committee for the Management of Infectious Diseases said “Rapid service points will be created in the different health centres so we can do the test right there. As soon as we have them, we will start straight away”, he also added that UVAC professionals will decide who take the test.

· The telephone line for questions and queries about the virus that launched last Wednesday registered about 100 calls during its first 3 days of operation according to the management at Can Misses Hospital. Anyone showing symptoms compatible with Covid19 (cough, fever or fatigue) or for any other health matter should call 971 437079 or 902 079079 to have a telephone assessment and be advised of the next steps.

· Blancadona sports centre, near the convention centre in Ibiza, is now operational as a provisional homeless shelter. By the 3rd night there was 32 people (29 men/3 women) using the facility which has 50 spaces but this can be increased to 70. The Spanish Red Cross will be responsible for the installation with a staff of 10 who take turns to facilitate the different services. There are also 2 security guards at all times. In addition to beds, users have showers and toilets and use of washing machines. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served through a catering service. If you know anyone requiring help contact the social services, Red Cross or Civil Protection Agency.

· The Ibiza Island Council’s Office for Women has set up an extra facility to accommodate victims of gender violence. Although this was planned before the state of alarm it has been accelerated to respond to a possible increase in cases of ill-treatment due to confinement. Island Minister for welfare, Carolina Escandell explained that each of the 8 rooms can take a woman (and child) so that they have their own space and privacy but stressed that the facility can be further adapted if required to offer between 10 and 15 places. If you know anyone requiring help contact the social services, Red Cross or Civil Protection Agency

· The Ibiza Island Council has introduced an on-demand bus service for weekdays for those most affected by the cutbacks to public transport. Minibuses will operate but you must reserve them by 7pm the night before. For more information on the affected lines you can call the Consell Insular on 19 59 00 or visit the web portal eivissa.tib.org. +MORE DETAILS AT BOTTOM OF PAGE.

· A new flight timetable has come in to effect for connections to Madrid (Iberia), Barcelona (Vueling) and Palma (Air Europa).

· There are daily flights to Palma and Barcelona with Madrid available 3 times per week on Sunday, Wednesday and Friday. You can only travel if you are a health worker, returning to your habitual residence, for justified work reasons or caring for a dependent. Those arriving in Ibiza should expect delays of around an hour as controls are in place. Check airline websites for full availability.

· Police have been saying to dog owners that their pets can only be exercised within 10 metres of their front door. The official wording of the law says ‘neighbourhood’ but police are becoming more hardline after some owners were found to be flouting the guideline taking their pets for long walks.

· Supermarkets are advising to keep receipts in case customers are stopped in the street. During roadblocks police have been advising that only one shop per week is allowed so common sense is recommended if you are currently leaving the house several times per week to shop.

· Many fines are still being given out for non justified presence on the streets including a reported case of a person being fined for coughing without covering their mouth. The Local Police in Ibiza, with help of the National Police, has handed out 60 fines in the last 4 days for failure to comply with the state of alarm. In addition, 785 vehicles have been controlled and 547 people have been identified. Police are also warning against the unnecessary movement of residents between homes.

· Mari Mayans, the local distillers of the famous hierbas brand has offered the Government of Spain 12,000 litres of alcohol that it has in storage as well as the use of it’s facilities should they need it in the fight against the global pandemic.

· The authorities have specifically warned about fake news so local government websites and credible press/social media pages are the best places to gather important information, please pass on wherever possible.

· The situation is evolving every day however the message is very clear – please stay at home wherever possible and keep a cool and calm head. By following these guidelines, together, we will beat this disease and get on with the rest of
our lives.

Best Regards – Stay Safe and Stay Home

With special thanks to Lesley Donald and Tricia Templeton

VERY IMPORTANT: INFORMATION TAKEN FROM CREDIBLE PRESS AND GOVERNMENT SOURCES HOWEVER THE SITUATION IS CHANGING VERY QUICKLY. THIS BLOG IS WRITTEN FOR INFORMATION PURPOSES ONLY AND I TAKE NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY ERRORS GIVEN IN GOOD FAITH

+BUS DETAILS
The affected lines and numbers to call to arrange service on demand
L16 Sant Carles-Santa Eulària and L18 es Canar-Santa Eulària
provided by HF Vilás (971 317 306-659 60 56 25, ibiza@sagales.com

L33 Sant Mateu-Santa Gertrudis by Autocares Lucas Costa
971 31 27 55 – 654 501332, autocareslucascosta@gmail.com

L11 Ses Salines-Ibiza , L15 Cala Llonga-Ibiza, L30 Santa Agnès-Sant Antoni and L42B es Cubells, Cala Vedella and Cala Tarida) by Voramar el Gaucho
(971 34 04 12 – 647 35 1153, reservas.ibiza @ alsa.es)

Spanish Prime Minister warns that ‘The Hardest Days are Yet to Come’

On Saturday evening Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez made a live address to the nation warning of the seriousness of the crisis but valuing the “social response”. He also defended the current strategy adopted and has ruled out taking further measures for the time being.

Sánchez’s address was to prepare citizens for the short term future saying that the most difficult moments are yet to come. “We are at a very critical moment and very hard days are coming, for which we have to prepare ourselves psychologically and emotionally”. He said that all citizens need to reach the end of next week “very strong, very strong”. “We are yet to receive the impact of the hardest wave that will put all our moral capacities at the limit ” he said in an emotional speech.

He demanded that the nation be “united” as he continues to protect citizens to avoid contagion and to “flatten the curve” while maintaining a “morale victory”.

Sanchez admitted that the difficult times in the coming weeks will change people but “it depends on us to change us for the better.” re-emphasising that risk “is everywhere” while justifying the general confinement that has been ordered.

During his speech, PM Sánchez acknowledged that Spain is one of the countries most affected in Europe by the pandemic and has recognised that the virus has several different characteristics from those of the common flu and that it spreads much faster and is more lethal.

For this reason, he has to insist that everybody complies with the confinement measures adopted by his Government. One of the biggest concerns he stressed was the need to ‘buy time’ which is needed for two reasons : for the health system to be able to cope and to also ensure that a vaccine is found.

For these reasons, he has made it clear that he will not argue with other administrations or with the Presidents of the Autonomous Communities, stating that his duty is “to maintain unity”. “Nobody in my government is going to argue” with any political adversary because everyone’s enemy is the virus.

Sánchez has assured that he will not spend ‘a second of his time’ arguing with other administrations despite the fact that both the Catalan & Madrid presidents have complained that the Health Service was making it difficult for them to access medical supplies.

Sánchez stressed that he assumes “all responsibility” for managing the crisis to try and stop the spread of the coronavirus “This is bringing out the best in ourselves “.

Sánchez was also questioned on whether he was also taking responsibility for what was done before the number of infections in Spain rapidly increased. The question specifically alluded to the management undertaken in January to March and especially when the Women’s Day marches took place on 8 March.

Sánchez replied: “1st March, April, May, June, August, September … Until we find the vaccine. I am the President of the Government of Spain and I take full responsibility” He also said that he demands of himself and his team “greater commitment and dedication”. “We are not resting, we are working intensively to tackle this pandemic”.

Source: Diario de Ibiza

Fri 20 March – Ibiza Covid19 Update

New information is inevitably slowing down as Ibiza residents come to terms with the new measures put in place, here’s an overview of the latest regarding the Covid19 situation on the island.

There are now 19 confirmed cases in Ibiza, 16 are recovering at home and 3 are in hospital including 1 in intensive care.

Balearic health authorities are studying whether non-essential operations can be delayed, priority will be given to oncology patients.

The Guardia Civil has carried out a deep clean on the new Can Misses hospital disinfecting vulnerable areas.

The old Can Misses hospital is being prepared (if required) for those that need control but are at the convalescence stage.

Civil protection officers are delivering food to the most vulnerable.

The Caritas homeless charity in Ibiza Town are helping the vulnerable with basic groceries on Mon, Wed, Fri from 9am-1pm.

Anybody experiencing severe financial hardship should contact their local town Hall or Social Services.

Specific guidelines have been published for anyone who has been infected by Covid19

Spanish airspace remains open but flight connections to the island have been greatly reduced as follows:

1 flight per day between Ibiza and Mallorca (Air Nostrum/Iberia)
3 flights per week between Madrid on Wed, Fri, Sun (Iberia)
1 flight per week between Barcelona (Vueling)

Some international flights will still be operating in the short term as they are required to repatriate tourists. If you are booked to come over to Ibiza on these flights then please be aware that you have to prove residency before boarding and on arrival. Check airline websites for full details as some are being cancelled at the last minute.

Ports are closed except for goods and cargo vehicles

Guardia Civil and the authorities are stepping up road blocks with heavier fines in place for those outside without justification.

Bus routes – only a third of capacity can be used and if the driver doesn’t have a glass screen then the front row must be kept empty  – check Ibiza Bus website for details of routes still operating.

For at least the next month energy providers (water, gas, electric) are not allowed to suspend services for non-payment.

Emergency measures have been put in place if you are self-employed or run your own business – see your financial or legal adviser (gestoria) for more details.

Banks can suspend mortgage repayments for those most affected – speak to your bank manager regarding this.

The 8pm salutation to the first responders and healthcare staff carries on every night putting a much needed smile on faces.

Local government websites and credible social media pages are the best places to gather important information and please pass on wherever possible.

The situation is evolving every day however the message is very clear – please stay at home wherever possible and keep a cool and calm head. By following these guidelines, together, we will beat this disease and get on with the rest of
our lives

Stay safe & best regards

With special thanks to Lesley Donald and Tricia Templeton

VERY IMPORTANT: INFORMATION TAKEN FROM CREDIBLE PRESS AND GOVERNMENT SOURCES HOWEVER THE SITUATION IS CHANGING VERY QUICKLY. THIS BLOG IS WRITTEN FOR INFORMATION PURPOSES AND I TAKE NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY ERRORS GIVEN IN GOOD FAITH