It’s been a long few weeks on the White Isle. A stop/start kind of atmosphere where the locals continue to live in a peaceful paradise awaiting a surge of tourism that hasn’t yet materialised.
The international set is starting to arrive but the British have largely stayed away so far due to murky press sensationalism and a quarantine regime that has put fear into those who love to travel. Tour operators are beginning to re-start so we should start to see more people on the streets. It’s a thorny subject but the modern Ibiza needs mass tourism if it’s 150,000 inhabitants are to survive through a long winter.
Around the island, social distancing is being respected. Ibiza Town is busy (isn’t it always) the beaches are starting to fill, restaurants have waiting lists and Formentera is back to its glorious best – something we could have only dreamed about several weeks ago. It’s mainly the areas that rely on British tourism – San Antonio, San Antonio Bay and Playa den Bossa – that remain quiet as we approach mid July.
Now we have the new face mask protocol which is being spun by some as a major negative with local press reports even claiming that it’s causing holiday cancellations. Most excuses seem to convenient during this pandemic.
Masks are slightly uncomfortable but it is only a mask, it’s not restricting our freedom of movement. Personally I think it’s a fairly pointless exercise especially in the open air but if it’s the law and is backed up by science then we have a duty to pull together and do our bit. It will be for history to judge whether it was an over reaction but for now, I for one, will do what I’m told is good for the island and try to keep it as clean and healthy as possible.
A couple of months ago most of us in Spain were confined to our homes, unable to leave except for food and essentials. In deepest darkest April if you had said to me that Ibiza will be more or less fully open (except for the clubs) by early July but you will have to wear a face mask in public then I would have accepted it in a heartbeat.
Unfortunately in the social media world everything has become a problem, no cause is too small for the keyboard warriors to become abusive and no ground can ever be ceded. The small detail is debated to the nth degree yet the big picture is often missed. The big picture here is that Ibiza is finally open and is finding its feet in the new normal. The airport arrivals board continues to grow and the streets are becoming more vibrant.
As we hurtle towards August we can expect the island to get a lot busier but still with a chilled vibe rather than the usual madness (although there’s always a chance of that too – this is Ibiza after all). Some will like it and others might not but for now we should be thankful that flights are arriving again and we have the chance to salvage something from the summer.
There’s so much to be thankful for, Ibiza is probably more beautiful than ever and is slowly getting its confidence back and learning to function under the new guidelines. Too much negativity is being thrown in certain directions by those who seem to revel in delivering bad news.
It’s time to seize the moment and make the most of an opportunity we didn’t think we’d even get. Our only true enemy right now isn’t a piece of cloth to cover our nose and mouth it’s a short memory and realistic expectations.