Ibiza 2021 – It’s been different!

January 2021

After Xmas, New Year and Kings Day celebrations Ibiza has record covid numbers but countless infractions are still being reported daily. – Ibiza doesn’t take kindly to being told what to do. Education bosses report that too many teachers are on sick leave and the month ends with Can Misses declaring that hospital services had ‘collapsed’ and national news reporting that Ibiza Town as the ‘most infectious town in Spain’ due to a spike in numbers. Ibiza goes to Level 4 restrictions. As the song says…..Things can only get better

February 2021

The constant barrage of numbers from the 3rd wave continues but cases begin to lower and Can Misses hospital starts to recover. Mass testing in Ibiza takes place with a highly coordinated effort. Ibiza (like the world) is consumed by bad news but UD Ibiza football club continue their charge in the league. Ibiza is declared as Spain’s epicentre of the ‘British variant’ (remember that?). Hotels and bars are still closed but the natives are getting restless as livelihoods suffer. Investment in Ibiza carries on unabated as hotels change hands and many carry out big refurbs. The covid vaccination is finally rolled out but a couple of cheeky politicians jump the queue causing widespread anger. Naughty naughty!

March 2021

There’s good news that national travelers can now enter Ibiza without showing a negative test but many international flights are cancelled until May. As cases plummet but restrictions continue there’s a demonstration in Ibiza Town calling for bars, restaurants and hotels to be able to open. The extended promenade from Cala Gracio to Port des Torrent gets the green light with work slated to start in 2023 and new hotels, the 5-star OKU and the 4-star Stic Urban in San Antonio are previewed to the world. The Ibiza vaccination program is ramped up after its reported that the island has the slowest roll out in Spain as covid related deaths pass 100. German tourists return to Mallorca and the month ends with an order that a face masks must be worn at all times even outdoors. Oh Dear!

April 2021

Easter time but restrictions still in place including a complicated curfew with restaurants and bar interiors remaining closed. As many destinations prioritise vaccinations for those that work in the tourist sector the Balearics resist calls to do the same. Weather is getting better and the island seems busier with French, German, Swiss and Dutch but where are the Brits? Still confined to their homeland. Sacre bleu!

May 2021

EasyJet and Ryanair start international flights, 50% of Ibiza’s hotels get ready to open for summer. Sant Joan Sunday market reopens, bar and restaurants reopen interiors and terraces now allowed until late evening and Island President Vicent Mari declares that the island is ‘open and is a safe destination’. Have we turned the corner? The Brits are still not allowed to travel so the island and especially San Antonio looks to attract a more international crowd. In sport, UD Ibiza finally gain promotion to the 2nd tier of Spanish football at the 3rd time of asking. Meanwhile there’s trouble brewing as Space Ibiza owner Pepe Rosello starts court proceedings against the Matutes Group claiming they have slandered him. Diddums!

June 2021

Ibiza’s bars and restaurants can now open until midnight (whoopee). The Ibiza nightlife association pushes back on the idea that Ibiza is ‘better without discotheques’ as the British government delays its decision to allow international travel until the end of June. Illegal parties in private houses are daily news and UD Ibiza football club upsets local rivals (who also use the facilities) by signing an agreement for the exclusive use of the Can Misses stadium for 2 years. The Balearics goes to the top of the class in the vaccination program. The Dutch become major players in the tourist market but the Brits come crashing back as Boris puts the Balearics on the green list plus the welcome news that masks don’t have to be worn outside. And breathe!

July 2021

The Balearic Supreme Court overturns the order that saw the closure of San Antonio’s West End terraces although business owners in the area doubt they will be able to open this summer due to ongoing restrictions. The political killjoys of Sant Joan declare that the famous drum fiesta on Benirras beach is illegal and there’s problems in Ibiza Town when bars close at 2am and hundreds start gathering in the harbour area carrying on the party. What did they think was going to happen? It’s now mid-summer and temperatures hit almost 40 degrees Celsius and 2 weeks after getting the green light the British government change the Balearics to amber – WTF Boris! The health ministry say that the reopening of nightclubs isn’t viable and a famous poker player on a private jet is busted for a case full of drugs – how the other half live. Ibiza has a 4th wave of infections or is it the 5th wave, who’s even counting anymore? Bars and restaurants back to 1am closing. Gotta love Summer!

August 2021

12–15-year-olds can now get jabbed as the Ibiza government brings in fines of up to 300.000 EUR for illegal villa parties which are being openly sold in the street even though the police are now using drones to try and detect them . The island is busy busy. The good news is that more flights are arriving than in August 2019, the bad news is that there are less people on them. The UK keeps Balearics on the amber list and San Antonio breathes a collective sigh of relief. Football fever hits the island as UD Ibiza host their first ever game in the professional ranks versus Malaga, the game ends in a 2-2 draw. The month ends with the usual heavy rainfalls and also a bad ferry accident when the ‘San Gwann’ runs aground on its way to Formentera. Oh Captain!

September

Bars and restaurants get an extra hour so can open until 2am (whoopee again) and Ibiza’s nightclubs ask for permission to hold their closing parties in October even though they never opened in the first place, confused? Ibiza’s hotels report a better August than they expected and Ibiza Pride hold a large concert on the beach in San Antonio but everyone is seated, and dancing is frowned upon. Covid seems to be largely forgotten about. Pressure builds on the island government as entrepreneurs voice their concern that other destinations are holding large scale electronic music events while Ibiza is languishing behind, they finally relent, and it’s announced that nightclubs can reopen from mid-October. Bars and restaurants can also open until 4am. Thank the lord!

October

The summer dawdles to an end but not before Amnesia, DC10 and Hard Rock Hotel hold big parties. DC10 opens its doors for a 12-hour bonanza that sees queues as far as the eye can see – Ibiza clubbing is back baby! Sporting events are everywhere in October – Marathons, triathlons, road races, cycling, car races and plenty more. All restrictions are lifted on bars and restaurants and Pepe Rosello announces he is to open a ‘musical restaurant’ on San Antonio’s sunset strip and that he’s close to finding a venue for Space on Sunday – cues a social media frenzy. Meanwhile Naomi Campbell’s ex-boyfriend, the multimillionaire Vladislav Doronin is fined 1M euros for illegal work carried out on the villa he purchased from Elle McPherson. How’s that for name dropping!

November

The month starts quietly and then the rain comes which isn’t unusual but it doesn’t stop which is very unusal. A court rules that the Matutes Group can legally purchase the remaining shares and become the outright owner of Privilege, the worlds biggest club. It’s still raining. Vaccinations are now available to the under 12’s and the covid passport is needed to enter establishments which hold more than 50 people. Pressure builds on UD Ibiza manager Juan Carlos Carcedo as the team records only 3 points from a possible 15. The rain has finally stopped!

December

It’s Christmas!!!!! Festive lights are switched on in San Antonio as fake snowflakes fall to the delight of the crowd. A new bishop of Ibiza is appointed (still big news over here) and the first case of the Omicron (the what?) variant is found in the Balearics. A new law that requires a covid passport to enter all bars and restaurants sees a 3-fold increase in vaccinations. Infection numbers start being a thing again (to the press anyway) as the 6th wave (I think) takes over the island. UD Ibiza sack their manager after 6 games without a win. Ruthless. The year ends as it started with ibiza partying hard and numbers rising. Ho-ho-ho.

Happy New Year!

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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