The Phase 1 Conundrum

Ibiza along with Mallorca and Menorca have had the green light and will go to deescalation phase 1 on Monday. It’s great news but brings with it those words that add a certain trepidation …..‘personal responsibility’.

It’s not that Ibiza’s finest can’t be trusted to behave themselves but our numbers have been steady for nearly a month, the only dark spot being when a care home for the elderly reported several new cases over a 24 hour period. Apart from this the graph has been going in the right direction since early April so as much as it will be amazing to slacken off the shackles it’s important that we don’t take 1 step forward and 2 steps back. We need to breathe again but also be responsible.

Today is the start of week 9, it’s been tiring with plenty of ups and downs along the way, not helped by fake news (why do they do that?) and some mixed messages from the Spanish government. Throw in a few baffling do’s and don’ts and the lockdown has taken it’s toll on many so it will be great to get some normality back into our lives although this is now being referred to as the ‘new normal’.

Many of the White Isles bars and restaurants are preparing to reopen which will bring fresh challenges in this surreal new world. The places that cater for locals will continue as before but those that usually deal exclusively with tourists will have to have a rethink and try to reinvent themselves. This will be a good test for the entrepreneurs on how to eek out a living on a tourist island without tourists.

More than ever phase 1 isn’t the time to forget why and how we are in this situation. There’s a global problem and we need to be part of the solution. Ibiza residents have, on the whole, played a massive part (especially those poor kids cooped up in small apartments for 6 weeks) but it’s worth remembering that this isn’t the beginning of the end, it’s probably not even the end of the beginning, it’s just one small step in the right direction that will lead us back to the promised land and by following the guidelines we can confidently turn small steps into giant strides.

Social distancing isn’t the cure to this problem but it does buy us time until a cure is found. The cure could be just around the corner but until then we need to be stay alert and be aware of potential risks especially to the more vulnerable amongst us.

Bring on Phase 1 , it’s a stepping stone to phase 2 then on to phase 3 and so on. That beer on the terrace on Monday evening will never taste so good.

Ibiza Covid19 Update 08 May

Covid19 figures for Ibiza & Formentera on 07/05/20 were as follows (via local press)

· 164 cases in total
· 35 Active Cases

· 23 in hospitals being monitored
· 5 in hospitals in intensive care
· 7 under surveillance at home
· 117 Discharged from hospital
· 12 fatalities

· 2 health workers at home being controlled by UVAC
· 12 health workers under ‘active surveillance’
· 30 days without any new cases admitted to intensive care

These figures are updated daily at 1pm by Balearic Health Office

· After much political manoeuvring Spanish politicians agreed on Wednesday to extend the current state of alarm until midnight on the 23 May taking it to 10 weeks in total.

· The Balearic Government has said that the ERTE scheme where employees are paid 70% of their salary by the state will be kept in place as long as necessary as a protection tool until the tourism sector can recover.

· All of Spain’s regions including the Balearic Islands have requested to move to Phase 1 of the deescalation process except for Catalonia and Castilla y León. The Government will announce today or tomorrow which regions can exit phase 0 and advance to phase 1

· Phase 1 limits Spanish residents to their own province but allows them to meet with up to 10 people provided that social distancing is observed. Amongst the measures will include establishments able to open their terraces up to 50% of usual capacity, outdoor markets at 25% and religious celebrations at 30%. Stores that measure less than 400 square meters can open at 30% of their usual capacity.

· Balearic Health Minister Patricia Gómez calculated yesterday that 1 in 50 people on the islands may have Covid19 antibodies although she stressed that she only had preliminary data from 10% of the analyses. Sra Gomez also said that the rapid tests being carried out on boat trips between Ibiza and Formentera are a pilot test not a general formula. Spanish Head of Infectious Diseases Dr Javier Arranz previously said that the the real value of the rapid tests is to detect those who require a full PCR test.

· Ibiza and San Jose Town halls have announced that they will not charge businesses for terraces this summer with the other councils expected to follow suit. San Jose also announced that terraces can occupy up to double the usual space as long as it does not affect passageways or encroach on the space of another business.

· The Island Council of Ibiza will unveil plans to increase public transport frequency to meet demand as Ibiza enters phase 1. The capacity of bus users will remain at 50% and the new plans will try to offer close to 50% of the service available before the lockdown began.

· Swimming in the sea is prohibited until phase 3 of the de-escalation process comes into force which currently means 08 June for Ibiza and 01 June for Formentera.

· From 14 May Mercadona will start to sell disposable hygienic masks in packs of 10 for 6 euros each under the Deliplus brand to meet the needs of its customers, the chain will also increase their opening hours from 11 May to 9am-8pm.

· Ibiza Town Hall will start its ‘Eivissa Oberta’ project this weekend which aims to expand public space for pedestrians and bicycles on Saturdays and Sundays. The plan is to open up more than 15,000 square meters for pedestrians to enjoy walks safely whilst maintaining safety distances recommended by health authorities.

Fake news stories are still appearing especially over the new phases of deescalation but local government websites and credible press/social media pages are the best places to gather important information.

The situation is constantly evolving however please follow the guidelines.

Best Regards

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 FLUID. THIS UPDATE IS WRITTEN FOR INFORMATION PURPOSES ONLY AND I TAKE NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY ERRORS GIVEN IN GOOD FAITH


Ibiza Covid19 Update – 05 May

Covid19 figures for Ibiza & Formentera on 04/05/20 were as follows (via local press)

· 161 cases in total
· 33 Active Cases
· 20 in hospitals being monitored
· 6 in hospitals in intensive care
· 7 under surveillance at home
· 116 Discharged from hospital
· 12 fatalities

· 2 health workers at home being controlled by UVAC
· 11 health workers ‘active surveillance’
· 27 days without any new cases admitted to intensive care

These figures are updated daily at 1pm by Balearic Health Office

Since the start of the health crisis Can Misses hospital has almost doubled its capacity from 240 to 435 with intensive care spaces increasing from 12 to 44 beds, 22 dedicated to Covid19 patients.

Formentera entered phase 1 of the de-escalation process yesterday, one of the first areas in Spain to do so. To keep potential new cases to a minimum all ferry passengers underwent a temperature control, had a rapid antibody test and completed a questionnaire. Some passengers had to stay ashore after testing positive in this rapid test and are awaiting the results of a PCR that will tell them whether or not they have the disease or have already passed it. Formentera is the first place in Spain where these controls are being carried out.

Formentera Consell President Alejandra Ferrer said that the Island is now in “a very, very important” phase where “individual and collective responsibility is required”.

Balearic Mobility Minster Marc Pons has asked central government in Madrid for an increase in inter-island flights from 11 May when the 3 main islands will most likely enter Phase 1 of de-escalation process.

A police agent was attacked on Talamanca beach on Sunday morning when confronting an adult swimming in the sea at 11.30am. The accused, an Argentine national, was arrested for attempted murder and is reported to be an expert in marshal arts. The officer received injuries to his neck and the incident was filmed on a mobile phone and went viral appearing on Spanish national news.

Carmen Planas, the President of the Balearic Business Associations has said that 90% of companies able to open in phase 0 of the deescalation have chosen not to do so because of “confusion, doubts and the inability to be profitable”. Many businesses are waiting until phase 1 starts to open their doors.

Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez faces a challenge to extend the current state of alarm that ends on 9 May. Minority leader Sanchez has indicated that he wants to extend for a further 2 weeks but some opposition parties and regional leaders are fundamentally against the plan. Popular Party (PP) leader Pablo Casado, said that “prolonging the state of alarm beyond a 60-day period makes no sense” but Sanchez responded that if the state of alarm is no longer in effect, “some people will have to go back to work, others back to their studies and the ERTE scheme, that guarantee jobs will be maintained, will no longer have a force majeure reason to justify them”.

The Spanish government is working with the regions to establish a maximum limit for classrooms for the upcoming school year in order to minimise the risk of contagion, the likely limit is 15. Some regions allow for as many as 28 children in primary school classes and up to 40 in high schools but the Education Ministry and the regional governments say that splitting classes is impossible due to teacher numbers so the likely solution will be a morning and afternoon shift system or alternate days or weeks, studying from home for the rest of the time.

Fake news stories are still appearing especially over the new phases of deescalation but local government websites and credible press/social media pages are the best places to gather important information.

The situation is constantly evolving however the message is clear – please follow the guidelines and together we will beat this disease.

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 FLUID. THIS UPDATE IS WRITTEN FOR INFORMATION PURPOSES ONLY AND I TAKE NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY ERRORS GIVEN IN GOOD FAITH

01 May – Ibiza Covid19 Update

Covid19 figures for Ibiza & Formentera on 30/04/20 were as follows (via local press)

· 158 cases in total
· 39 Active Cases
· 20 in hospitals being monitored
· 7 in hospitals in intensive care
· 12 under surveillance at home
· 107 Discharged
· 12 fatalities

· 2 health workers at home being controlled by UVAC
· 14 health workers ‘active surveillance’
· 3 days without any new cases
· 23 days without any new cases admitted to intensive care
· 21 days since last fatality

These figures are updated daily at 1pm by Balearic Health Office

Its been a busy week for news! Firstly on Tuesday, Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez announced a 4 phase de-escalation approach to the current confinement measures. Different regions will have different timeframes depending on health advice but here’s a brief overview.

Phase 0 (measures include)
All residents able to exercise from tomorrow (details further down)
Small businesses able to open if they offer appointments
Restaurants can offer takeaways, hardware stores can reopen
Hairdressing salons by appointment only

Phase 1 (measures include)
Travel to 2nd homes allowed if in same province
Social contact between low risk people in the same town allowed
Car travel with people from same household
Cafe terraces can open at 30% of their usual capacity
Hotels can reopen but with no common areas

Phase 2 (measures include)
Restaurants/bars/Indoor venues can open to up to 30% occupancy
Educational centres can open for minors whose parents are both key workers
Hunting and fishing allowed, cultural places up to a 3rd of its capacity
Outdoor venues can reopen to a maximum of 400 (must be seated)

Phase 3 (measures include)
A relaxation of restrictions with a continued recommendation to wear masks outside of the home and on public transport. This phase is likely to be implemented in mid-June and will allow for visits to senior homes under conditions that will be established later.
Bars and restaurants will be able to open with a limit of 50% of capacity.

Ibiza is hoping to enter Phase 1 on Monday 4 May however this is yet to be confirmed. Each phase will be for a minimum of 2 weeks. In the best case scenario for some it will last 6 weeks and for others a maximum of 8 weeks. PM Sanchez said “by the end of June we will be in the new normal, the horizon is planned”

Yesterday Spanish Health Minister Salvador Illa announced a daily timetable for exercise from this weekend

ADULTS/14-17 YEAR OLDS:
1 hour walks alone or with 1 other member from same household
Must remain within a 1km radius of their home
Hours: 6-10am & 8-11pm

KIDS UNDER 14:
Max of 3 kids with 1 adult from same home
Max 1 hour/1 km radius from their home
Hours: 12pm-7pm

SENIORS OF 70+ & THOSE WITH CARERS:
Max 1 hour/1 km radius from their home
Hours: 10am-12pm & 7-8pm

Note: This timetable doesn’t apply to municipalities with less than 5000 residents however all of Ibiza’s 5 municipalities exceed this number

· Vicent Mari, President of Ibiza Island Council said yesterday that even if Ibiza starts phase 1 on Monday the problems for tourism will not be solved. He stressed that the resumption of ordinary flights to the island is not expected “for 2 or 3 months, depending on the scenario drawn up by the central and the Balearic government.” He said that entering directly into phase 1 is good news because it gives hope for a minimal tourist season that could occur in the middle of July or August based mainly on domestic tourism although he reiterated that 2020 will be a “difficult and hard” season. He also stressed that the important thing is to recover “little by little” to achieve normality and overcome the health crisis.

Amnesia have announced that they have cancelled their programme for May and June but signed off with “WE WILL DANCE TOGETHER AGAIN SOON”.

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 follow the guidelines and 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 FLUID. THIS UPDATE IS WRITTEN FOR INFORMATION PURPOSES ONLY AND I TAKE NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY ERRORS GIVEN IN GOOD FAITH

28 April – Ibiza Covid19 Update

Covid19 figures for Ibiza & Formentera on 27/04/20 were as follows (via Periodico de Ibiza)

· 158 cases in total
· 45 Active Cases
· 25 in hospitals being monitored
· 7 in hospitals in intensive care
· 12 under surveillance at home
· 101 Discharged
· 12 fatalities

· 2 health workers at home being controlled by UVAC
· 28 health workers ‘active surveillance’
· 20 days without any new patients admitted to Intensive Care
· 6 new confirmed infections in the last 8 days

These figures are updated daily at 1pm by Balearic Health Office.

Ibiza and Formentera health service has carried out 1066 tests so far on professionals and interns at the islands residential care homes. 514 for patients and 552 to professionals. Of the total number of tests carried out, 27 have been positive: 14 in the Reina Sofia residence, 10 in Can Blai and another 4 in Cas Serres.

Rosario Clinic, the private hospital in Ibiza Town, has said that it has carried out over 2000 rapid tests since April 6 with approximately 8% coming back positive.

The Balearic Islands welcomed a new shipment of more than 1.4 million FFP2 masks on Saturday in the addition to the 87 tons of material that the region has already received.

On Sunday, Ibiza and the rest of Spain experienced its 1st day of relaxed confinement since the start of the crisis. Children under the age of 14 are now allowed out for up to 1 hour per day exercise when accompanied by an adult from the same household.

Although images shared via social media seemed to suggest otherwise the Spanish Interior Ministry said that there were “no serious or widespread breaches” but also said that “if necessary we will strengthen surveillance in specific areas”. Defence Minister Margarita Robles issued a word of caution saying that if citizens do not comply with social distancing precautions then there might be a setback to the deescalation of confinement mesures.

Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez is due to make an announcement in the next days on whether adults and teens aged 14-17 (who are still only allowed out for essentials) will be allowed out for exercise. This is expected to be get the green light for the coming weekend.

Sanchez said “If we act with prudence, this 1st relief measure will be followed by another one a week later, if the evolution of the pandemic keeps moving in a positive manner, starting on 2 May, outings will be allowed for individual activity and for walks with the people that we live with.”

Spanish Health Minister Salvador Illa has asked autonomous regions for suggestions on a workable daily timetable for controlled outings to make it easier for local authorities to monitor. He will discuss again today before detailed plans are put forward to be approved.

Guardia Civil and the Local Police arrested 1 person and issued fines to a further 18 on Sunday when they broke up a house party at a private villa in San Jose. Officers were alerted to a property called Ca na Xica after the organiser had put up a sign at the entrance as well as hiring a DJ and catering. Even in lockdown there’s no accounting for stupid it would seem.

Local Police in Santa Eulalia have filed 14 complaints for confinement breaches over the last few days. On Saturday they issued fines to 3 members of the same family who were having a BBQ in a communal area of a residential block in Cala Llonga.

Local Police in Ibiza Town carried out 49 controls last week by 187 officers. 2676 people were identified and 41 fines were handed out, none of them with regards to the new guidelines for children’s outings.

Ibiza lawyers have voiced fears that judicial waiting times on the island will increase substantially as a result of the Covid19 crisis, the system was already under pressure due to an arson attack on the courthouse in Ibiza Town.

The Ministry of Education has released dates for the 2020-2021 school year in Balearics which will begin on 10 September and end on 22 June 2021. There will be 176 school days for students in Infant, Primary, Secondary, ‘Bachillerato’ (6th form) and Special Education.

Vicent Mari, President of Ibiza’s Island Council is proposing new measures to boost economic activity. He wants to streamline the granting of licences for reforms that don’t involve land, encourage improvement in the islands hotel sector, put a new framework together that makes inspections more agile to combat intrusiveness and encourage more energy efficiency in homes.

San Antonio Council has announced a social and economic fiscal package worth more than 1.3 million euros aimed at ‘helping families and companies face the crisis and to boost the economy and tourist activity of the municipality’.

Mayor Marcos Serra said that the voluntary payment period and the payment of fees and taxes will be extended without incurring interest. 250,000 euros will also be allocated “to help small and medium-sized companies and the self-employed affected by the closure of their business”. Please speak to your gestoria/financial adviser for more information.

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 follow the guidelines and 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 FLUID. THIS UPDATE IS WRITTEN FOR INFORMATION PURPOSES ONLY AND I TAKE NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY ERRORS GIVEN IN GOOD FAITH


24 April – Ibiza Covid19 Update

Covid19 figures for Ibiza & Formentera on 23/04/20 were as follows (via Periodico de Ibiza)

· 154 cases in total
· 57 Active Cases
· 26 in hospitals being monitored
· 10 in hospitals in intensive care
· 21 under surveillance at home
· 85 Discharged
· 12 fatalities

· 23 health workers under ‘active surveillance’
· 16 days without new patients admitted to Intensive Care
· 15 days without any new contagions of Health Workers

The latest fatality was Señora Andrea García, the matriarch of the famous Juan y Andrea Restaurant on Illetas beach in Formentera. Sra Garcia was in her late 70’s and had underlying health issues. This is Formentera’s first fatality due to the virus

These figures are updated daily at 1pm by Balearic Health Office.

The lockdown is now officially until midnight on the evening of Saturday 9 May.

After initially saying that from 26 April children would only be allowed out to supermarkets banks and chemists with their parents the Spanish government performed a U-Turn after widespread criticism from all quarters.

From 9am on Sunday morning children up to 14 are allowed to leave their home as follows:

· From 9am-9pm avoiding busy periods
· Maximum of 1 hour
· Within maximum of 1 km of the family home
· Must be with a responsible adult from the same household
· Maximum of 3 children with 1 adult at any one time
· Must stay within a controllable distance of the adult
· Must respect the existing social distancing guidelines with respect to others
· Permitted to run, play and do exercise respecting existing social distancing guidelines
· They can use their own toys (ball, scooter etc) but cannot use public or communal play parks/areas
· In rural areas the use of countryside and forests is allowed but must respect the existing social distancing guidelines
· Any children showing symptoms of the virus or are in quarantine are not allowed out of the house

Spanish Health Minister Salvador Illa said that these outings must be carried out “with utmost caution” in accordance with the 3 priorities in the fight to slow the spread of the coronavirus:
· Maintain a physical distance of between 1.5 to metres
· Frequently wash hands
· Maintain strict hygiene when using public spaces.
The minister recommended children wear face masks, but warned that this “must not exempt the other three measures.”

Ibiza’s institutions plan to present a battery of 10 measures today aimed at reducing the financial pressure and to encourage the economy. The objective is that the Island comes together to avoid inequalities if each municipality deployed its own measures. Some of the proposals are the deferment of payment of taxes, facilitate interest-free payment plans, reduce the payment of fees proportionally to any period of inactivity and promote public works. More details will be published in due course.

On Wednesday 167,500 face masks were delivered to Ibiza and Formentera from Mallorca to help supply the 48 pharmacies on the islands. The masks will have a maximum price of 0.96 euros per unit (VAT included). This is the maximum price set by authorities.

Since the start of the Covid-19 crisis Ibiza Town City Council has invested 100,000 euros in PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) for municipal workers, as reported by a press release.

New information regarding rental payments to private and commercial landlords came into force as of 23 April – Read more info here via Citizens Advice Bureau Spain. Please see your financial advisor or gestoria for more details as every situation is different.

The private Rosario Health Clinic in Ibiza Town has already treated 10 Covid19 patients with ozone therapy and in 8 cases it had a ‘spectacular’ result, said a spokeswoman. 7 of 8 patients have already been discharged and the other will be able to return home shortly. The treatment consists of mixing the blood (a max of 200 cm3) with ozone every 12 hours in the case of the seriously ill and every 6 hours in the most serious for a maximum of 5 days. Sources at the private hospital centre said that for suitable patients there is an ‘immediate change’ in their situation in the 1st 24 hours.

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 but the message is very clear – please stay at home 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 FLUID. THIS UPDATE IS WRITTEN FOR INFORMATION PURPOSES ONLY AND I TAKE NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY ERRORS GIVEN IN GOOD FAITH.

Ibiza Covid19 Update 21/04/20

Covid19 figures for Ibiza & Formentera on 20/04/20 were as follows (via Periodico de Ibiza)

152 cases in total
70 Active Cases
30 in hospitals being monitored
11 in hospitals in intensive care
29 under surveillance at home
71 Discharged
11 fatalities

For the first time cured patients outnumber active cases.

1 health worker at home being controlled by UVAC
23 health workers under ‘active surveillance’
These figures are updated daily at 1pm by Balearic Health Office

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced on Saturday evening that he will seek approval to extend the current state of alarm to 11 May but there would be a “cautious and progressive” deescalation of confinement measures including the opportunity for children to leave home under controlled circumstances from April 27. More details are expected in the coming days.

Maria Antonia Font, the Director for Balearic Public Health has said that when kids are eventually allowed outside they must avoid crowds and respect the 2 metre distancing protocol. She also said hand hygiene will be essential when leaving and returning home plus extra care must be taken when touching public benches and other objects. Font said children’s outings will need to be “very organised, following all the guidelines.”

Island Council President Vicent Mari has said that it will be health authorities that decide when the island reopens for business. This was in response to Yolanda Díaz the employment ministers comments that it might not be until the end of the year.

Mari said “we have now passed the control phase and we are in the stabilisation phase, looking at the number of those infected, it is time to analyse the measures in advance to see how we are going to get out of the crisis.” He continued to say that Ibiza and Formentera will be one of the first territories in Spain to leave behind the confinement phase “since the ports and airports on the islands are easier to control”. However he said that this will happen by carrying out large scale testing “to find out who are the virus carriers, even if they are asymptomatic, and thus be able to take to the streets with the guarantees of minimal contagion.”

Balearic President Francina Armengol announced via her twitter account that 17 more tonnes of personal protection equipment including gowns, masks and glove has arrived taking the total to 80 tonnes. She finished the message by saying “Lets not lower our guard”.

The Ibiza Leisure association say that ‘only a miracle’ would see the Islands big nightclubs opening this summer due to the fact that these are the last businesses that will be allowed to open. Spokesman José Luis Benítez said that the spirits in the sector is low: “the situation is bleak” he said, however “the priority is to protect the health of workers and customers”. Benítez added that the 2021 season would be “spectacular”.

San Antonio Mayor Marcos Serra has said that when the crisis is over and it’s safe to mingle once again that the town will host ‘The biggest birthday party in the history of the town’ for all the kids who didn’t have the chance to celebrate with their friends during the lockdown.

Dia de Sant Jordi (St Georges Day) on the 23 April will be celebrated on the island via social networks for the first time ever. Residents can get involved from their own homes with the programme of events throughout the day that include storytelling, musical performances and juggling. at 1pm there will be a performance from the Sant Jordi Folkloric Group and in the afternoon the children’s activities will start again. There will also be contests on literature or photography, children can submit drawings to educacio@santjosep.org

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 but the message is very clear – please stay at home 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 FLUID. THIS UPDATE IS WRITTEN FOR INFORMATION PURPOSES ONLY AND I TAKE NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY ERRORS GIVEN IN GOOD FAITH.

Fri 17 Apr – Ibiza Covid19 Update

Covid19 figures for Ibiza & Formentera on 16/04/20 were as follows (via Periodico de Ibiza)

148 cases in total
83 Active Cases
35 in hospitals being monitored
11 in hospitals in intensive care
37 under surveillance at home
56 Discharged
11 fatalities

The latest fatality was a 65 year old man with no previous health issues who was well known on the island and worked in the nautical industry.

9 days without any new cases entering into intensive care
8 days without new infections among health professionals
3 health workers are at home being controlled by UVAC
15 health workers under ‘active surveillance’
These figures are updated daily at 1pm by Balearic Health Office

Beach concession operators in San Jose have asked the council to suspend payments until the beaches reopen. Mayor Josep Marí Ribas ‘Agustinet’ says he will study its viability in the face of “the exceptional situation that not only this sector lives, but all the economic activity linked to tourism.”.

Homeless charity ‘Caritas’ has welcomed the decision by the Ibiza Island Council to build a provisional homeless shelter on waste ground at sa Joveria near Can Misses Hospital. The initiative was announced on 8 April and will cost 1.5 million euros with a capacity to temporary house up to 56 people in 7 rooms with lockers, individual wardrobes, bathrooms and laundry facilities. Caritas also stressed the importance of having a permanent facility

Caritas has also described the current situation with regards to its food banks: “If a month ago we were at 20 or 30 people a week, we are now serving 70 or 80 every day” said Gustavo González, coordinator of Ibiza and Formentera. The service is offered by the charity on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and is based on dry products (pasta and rice), preserves, oil, milk and cookies but they also distribute prepared food in the afternoon to the most vulnerable.

The Spanish Education Ministry has reached an agreement with most regional governments to grant an automatic passing grade to all students in early education, primary, secondary and the first year of pre-university studies. Teachers will decide the exact score for each child based on the first two terms and some students could still fail specific subjects and be re-tested at a later date but no student will be held back except for a very small amount but this will require approval by regional authorities.

Vicent Mari, the President of Ibiza’s Island Council wants to put a plan together to test all essential service professionals for Covid19 in the first instance and then the entire population of Ibiza to know the exact level of contagion. The campaign would not need to be carried out immediately he explained but have the aim to achieve zero contagion in the Balearics and give the image of a safe and controlled space for visitors who can travel to the islands when ports and airports are reopened.

Air Europa will continue to offer the inter-island flights of Palma-Mahón and Palma-Ibiza, until the end of the state of alarm including any possible extensions.

Guardia Civil at Ibiza airport have made an official complaint against Iberia for not respecting the safety distance between passengers after a flight arrived on Wednesday 15 April from Madrid that had an occupancy of 70%. 128 were onboard the especially busy flight which had a capacity for 180 passengers, many were returning construction workers.

On the same flight from Madrid, Guardia Civil agents denied entry to 2 women and a man who, on arrival, could not provide any documents to prove they were residents or over for work. They were immediately returned to the mainland. The Madrid to Ibiza flight was originally planned for 3 times a week but that has now been reduced to once. The next connection with the capital is on Friday 24 April.

Work on the new Santa Eulalia highway, the Ses Païses roundabout and the resurfacing of the E-10 will remain on hold despite the resumption of activity in the construction sector. The Ibiza Island Council says that the work will be suspended for as long as it’s not possible to guarantee the required security measures for workers and until a sufficient supply of materials can be guaranteed.

Ibiza Pride that was due to take place on 10-13 June has been pushed back until the end of September, exact dates will be confirmed shortly. “When we have overcome this situation, we will return to the streets to fill Ibiza with colour” said festival director Antonio Balibrea.

Francina Armengol and Ángel Víctor Torres, the respective Presidents of the Balearic and Canary Island parliaments, have agreed to jointly ask the central government to extend the temporary employment regulation (ERTE) beyond the state of alarm to protect jobs and help the many companies that are now facing extreme complications on both sets of islands. Both Presidents also agreed to ask for specific de-confinement measures for their territories, mainly in terms of ports and airports, so that these are the last infrastructures to fully reopen. They also demanded that sanitary controls for passengers are strengthened after reopening.

Santa Eulalia Police filed 7 complaints yesterday for different types of violation of the confinement orders. Last Sunday 12 more complaints were reported against residents, some being spotted by using a drone.

Since the Ibiza lockdown started the entry of waste in the Ca na Putxa landfill has decreased by 28.4% compared to the same period last year. In the second half of March the decrease was 21.7%, while in the first five days of April the figure reached 47%.

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 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 FLUID. THIS UPDATE IS WRITTEN FOR INFORMATION PURPOSES ONLY AND I TAKE NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY ERRORS GIVEN IN GOOD FAITH

Ibiza Covid19 Update – Tue 14/04/20

Covid19 figures for Ibiza & Formentera on 13/04/20 were as follows (via Periodico de Ibiza)

144 cases in total
92 Active Cases
45 in hospitals being monitored
13 in hospitals in intensive care
31 under surveillance at home

There are 3 health workers at home being controlled by UVAC plus another 9 under ‘active surveillance’. These figures are updated daily at 1pm by Balearic Health Office

The latest fatality in Ibiza was a 90 year old woman with underlying health issues from the Reina Sofia nursing home.

The spike in cases over the weekend was due to 11 cases from the Reina Sofia nursing home plus an elderly patient from Formentera who was transfered to Can Misses Hospital via Helicopter.

The Balearic Health Office has said that around 700 tests have already been carried out at Ibiza’s nursing and residential care homes and they will carry on testing in the event of a new outbreak. Reina Sofía has had tests carried out on 128 residents and 71 employees, Cas Serres has tested 123 residents and 180 employees (with 1 employee testing positive) whilst Can Blai in Santa Eulalia has tested 83 residents and 100 employees.

An official study prepared by the Balearic Government has said that the most likely economic scenario is to expect no tourists in May, June or July with August running at 25% capacity followed by September and October at 50% capacity compared to previous years. The Government is confident that the situation will fully return to normal for 2021. Read full article here via Diario de Ibiza

Ibiza’s non-essential workers can now return to work after a 2 week ‘hibernation’ of the economy despite concerns from some health experts and the opposition of some politicians. President of the Balearic parliament Francina Armengol said “we would prefer non-essential jobs to remain inactive but we have to respect the government’s decision”. Catalunya is radically opposed to the idea and Madrid has concerns about a potential new spike in infections. The debate among the scientific community is centred around seeking to balance the public health risk whilst maintaining minimal economic activity.

One of the main problems now facing the local construction industry is lack of materials as during the lockdown only essential goods can be transported from the mainland to the Balearics. Construction work is not allowed to be carried out on occupied properties.

Local authorities are continuing to check that those traveling in vehicles for work reasons have the right paperwork to justify their journey. IMPORTANT: If in doubt please check with your gestoria or financial/legal adviser.

In a bid to ensure the change does not lead to a new rise in infections the Spanish government has published a guide for workers and businesses with recommendations on how to reduce the risk of contagion – click here for more details via El Pais

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez told Congress last week that he is “convinced” that he will have to ask for a further 2 week extension of the current lockdown taking it to 10 May. No details were given about changes to confinement conditions under any new extension although the Spanish government has hinted that it’s considering a gradual deescalation of the measures currently in place subject to any relevant infections data.

The Balearic Islands has received 256,000 face masks from central government specifically for those who still need to use public transport to get to work. Mallorca will receive 202,000 units, Ibiza will get 30,000, Menorca 22,000 and Formentera 2,000. Distribution points will be set up at main bus stations in Ibiza Town, Santa Eulalia and San Antonio – and also the ferry terminal in Formentera at La Savina.

During the first 4 weeks of lockdown San Antonio Local Police filed a total of 358 complaints and controlled 6852 vehicles/people during 281 controlled roadblocks.

A new public bus timetable has come into effect today – click here for more details via Periodico de Ibiza

Last weekends ‘Ibiza needs Ibiza beats’, the virtual music festival featuring David Guetta as Jack Back, Luciano, Pete Tong, Paco Osuna, Sebastián Gamboa, Anna Tur and Manu González and promoted by UD Ibiza football club and the International Music Summit raised over 6500 EUR for Ibiza’s Red Cross to help in it’s fight against Covid19.

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 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 FLUID. THIS UPDATE IS WRITTEN FOR INFORMATION PURPOSES ONLY AND I TAKE NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY ERRORS GIVEN IN GOOD FAITH

‘The Ibiza Exit Strategy’

Ibiza has had a very quiet week, not just on the streets but, thankfully, in the hospitals too. Only a handful of new covid19 cases plus plenty of discharged patients. The graph is going in the right direction and in the cold light of day when you look around the world our small island has got away with it so far.

This is the same small island that after some initial dithering closed the port and airport for all but essential travel meaning that confinement and containment was relatively straightforward, a matter of dealing with the daily cases when they came to light.

The feeling is that Ibiza and Formentera may have peaked at around 130 known cases which is fantastic news if that proves to be correct, our health staff and frontline workers have done an incredible job keeping a lid on the contagian outbreak.

The bad news is that once we have got on top of the health crisis there’s an even bigger one looming. The economic crisis has become the elephant in the room that nobody wants to talk about but talk about it we must. Ibiza exists on tourism so what happens when you take that essential ingredient away and how long can the island survive without it?

The existing lockdown is definitely until 26 April and then most probably extended in some form for 2 weeks thereafter but sooner or later we need to come up with a plan, the so called ‘exit strategy’. Even though any plan may be fundamentally flawed due to the unknowns, a plan must be put in place.

Germany, France, Italy and Spain will most likely come out of the health crisis first but there’s no guarantee that these countries will open up their borders straight away for fear of a 2nd wave of the virus. The UK were the last to the ‘party’ so should be the last to leave.

A tourist destination only exists, by definition, if tourists can get there so the positives of containing the virus on a small island becomes a negative if the airport and port decide to delay opening. Isolation then takes on a whole different meaning, a paradise island free of the virus so movement is allowed but also free of the tourists that bring us our bread and butter.

Ibiza relies heavily on UK tourism and as they are a few weeks behind the rest theres a chance that a delayed summer 2020 might happen but only with certain segments of the market. National tourism might be an option, flying over on monitored flights from the main hubs using technology to ensure the spread of the virus is minimised. Something is better than nothing but some hotels may decide not to open rather than operate half empty.

The European and world borders may only fully reopen once there has been a verified vaccine put in place, technology becomes available to monitor infections or when immunity outweighs the risks involved but in the exit strategy it needs to happen sooner rather than later otherwise the damage to the social and economic fabric of society may far exceed the fatalities of the initial wave.

Let’s hope that world leaders get together very soon and come up with a plan for open borders coupled with a realistic testing programme to ensure the safety of sovereign nations but also give us the economic stimulus we desperately need. Until then it’s a simple case of survival and coming out the other side with our health and sanity in place so we live to fight another day.

There is some good news in all of this. Ibiza is an island rich in natural beauty and full of charismatic entrepreneurs who specialise at relaunching their products year after year, an island full of hedonistic pleasures that has proved irresistible to generations of travellers.

If history has proven anything it’s that Ibiza has amazing bouncebackability and humans have very short memories.