Ibiza smiling again but not a time to celebrate yet

So it’s here. After much talk, hearsay and conjecture the UK Government finally put the Balearic Islands on their ‘green list’ and the Brits have started to arrive in their droves.

For those who have been hiding under a rock (and I don’t blame you btw) British tourists now arriving in the Balearic islands do not have to quarantine on their return but do have to take a post arrival test.

The news was a bit of a surprise but the UK government has been consistent in being inconsistent so it shouldn’t have come as such a shock. The news also started a chain reaction that saw many Ibiza businesses scramble to open, mainly those that rely almost exclusively on the British market.

Ibiza is a truly international destination these days so even without the Brits the White isle has been very busy with its own European invasion. Ibiza town has been rocking for weeks with bars showing the Euro football championships on their terraces creating a vibrant and charged atmosphere. The British market is the final piece of the jigsaw and will be very welcome especially in San Antonio which has struggled without its main market.

As much as the news has been welcomed, it also comes with a big caveat. The Balearics are on the UK green ‘watch list’ which enables the UK government to remove a destination with very little notice if they see a rise in infections.

This arbitrary decision making is significant because as we saw when Portugal was put on the green list and then quickly removed, it creates a lack of confidence for travellers to commit to an expensive overseas holiday that might have to be cancelled although I’m pleased to say theres still plenty of demand for San An over Skegness.

So we can be thankful that business is starting to resume but also remember that the rug can be ripped away from us at any time if infection numbers rise dramatically. As we have seen over the last week with a major outbreak amongst several hundred teenage students in Mallorca celebrating the end of school, it’s still too early to let our guard down.

This isolated incident is a sobering reminder that not only will we be walking a Covid tightrope for some time to come but also that Balearic businesses, especially those that attract the party crowd, have a collective responsibility to control their customers as much as possible to minimise the risk of rising infection levels. No one likes a party pooper but after the last 16 months the stakes are too high to throw common sense out of the window.

The last 2 weeks have been a real turning point, it’s amazing to see Ibiza come to life once again. It’s been a long time coming and we should enjoy every day as it comes but with many businesses still unable to open or function to capacity there’s still a long way to go to get back to where we were. Smiles are returning but we aren’t out of the woods just yet.

Author: Martin Makepeace

Englishman living and working in Ibiza since 1991. Entrepreneur with a passion for villas, boats, sunsets and San Antonio. Read my blogs, listen to my podcasts and catch me on Radio One Mallorca every Tuesday morning.

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