03 April – Ibiza Covid19 Update

Covid19 figures for Ibiza & Formentera on 02/04/20 were as follows:

101 cases in total
44 in hospitals being monitored
17 in hospitals in intensive care
32 under surveillance at home
5 discharged
3 deceased

In addition to these 93 ‘active cases’ (92 cases in Ibiza and 1 in Formentera) there are also 7 health workers at home being controlled by UVAC plus another 40 under ‘active surveillance’. These figures are updated daily at 1pm by Balearic Health Office.

Local press has reported that the high increase of infections maybe down to the new testing station for medical professionals now installed at Can Misses. The tests are sent to Son Espases Microbiology Laboratory in Palma and take 48 hours for results.

There has been 573 tests with the PCR technique since the start of the pandemic. This includes those collected by 061, UVAC’s, Can Misses and Formentera Hospitals and those collected at the new fixed point for health professionals at Can Misses.

For Covid19 patients Can Misses Hospital has 33 places available in Intensive Care. 15 in the ICU and 18 in converted operating rooms.

Javier Arranz, the Balearic Health spokesman says that by the middle of next week we should know if the peak of the crisis has passed. He also estimates that there may be up to 300 unidentified cases in Ibiza.

The Spanish government said in a press conference on Tuesday that when the current State of Alarm comes to an end, authorities will gradually ease the confinement measures that are keeping people at home and holding back economic activity.

In his weekly conference Vicent Mari, President of the Ibiza Island Council, said that without a vaccine he has serious concerns for the summer season and that the best case scenario may be to open in July and lengthen the season, then opening as normal in 2021. He said that if there is no tourist activity this summer, the consequences will be disastrous as the island depends on tourism. He also recognised that the island will most probably require exceptional measures and ‘extraordinary support’ from central government.

Mari also announced that his government will bring in a new social and economic plan (ISE), with an initial budget of 4 million euros to allocate to projects and social measures related to the fight against Covid19 in the island. This is possible due to a new directive from central government. Mari said that the recipients will be groups and people who are especially vulnerable or at risk of social exclusion, and there will also be aid to municipalities for the same objectives. “Work is underway to finalise the projects and measures,” he said.

Carmen Costa, a doctor at the medical centre in Ibiza Town said that they are taking up to 200 phone calls per day and after nearly 3 weeks the system of separating the patients with respiratory symptoms from the rest and trying to resolve as much as possible by phone is working ‘better than anticipated’.

Now for the least surprising news – shoppers in Spain have been buying more alcohol since the start of the State of Alarm according to a study from the consumer magazine Inforetail. Sale of beer rose by 77.65% while wine jumped by 62.7% and alcoholic drinks by 36.58%.

While the demand for toilet paper has stabilised, other products have seen a spectacular rise in sales, such as olives (+93.83%), potato chips (+87.13%), chocolate (+79.04%) and ice cream (+76.19%). According to figures from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, the sale of flour has also shot up by 196%. It would appear that the public have decided that the best way to cope with the lockdown is to set up a home bar and bake a cake .

The situation is constantly evolving 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 CHANGING VERY QUICKLY. THIS BLOG IS WRITTEN FOR INFORMATION PURPOSES ONLY AND I TAKE NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY ERRORS GIVEN IN GOOD FAITH

New Economic Measures by Spanish Government

Yesterday the Spanish Government announced the following measures in an attempt to ‘hibernate’ the economy:

· For private tenants, evictions are suspended for up to 6 months after the end of the state of alarm – nobody can be evicted from their home

· Rental contracts that are due to expire are automatically extended for a further 6 months.

· Loan scheme put in place at 0% interest to people who need help paying their rent – to be paid back over 6 to 10 years.

· Landlords who have multiple properties (as opposed to families and individuals who rent 2nd or 3rd homes) have to cut their rents by 50% or restructure them – Note: This won’t apply to the majority of rentals in Ibiza

· Mortgage holiday for those affected by the crisis – see your bank for more details

· Delayed payment on mortgages for commercial premises/offices for the self-employed

· Utilities such as water, electricity and gas are guaranteed during this exceptional period – nobody will be cut off

· Suspension of repayments of consumer loans for anyone who is in a vulnerable economic situation – this will last 3 months and can be extended if necessary.

· Self-employed can suspend social security payments for a period of up to 6 months without interest being accrued – but this still has to be paid.

· Any outstanding payments to social security can also be delayed for 6 months

· Those who have had temporary contracts terminated are entitled to emergency funds of €440 as well as aid to cleaners who lose their jobs and have reduced work hours due to the crisis. Please speak to SOIB to see if you qualify for this one-off payment.

· Suggestion: If you are a private tenant then speak directly to your landlord who will be fully aware of the situation. If you have financial hardship then try and negotiate a reduced rent during the crisis, something is better than nothing and they can’t evict you by law for 6 months until after the state of alarm has finished.

· Try and pay only essential bills, all utilities payments can be put off in the short term but need to be paid at some point in the future.

· If you are self employed then speak to your Gestoria or Financial advisor to find the best way to minimise your outgoings during the crisis.

· Opinion: Unfortunately there is no magic wand and these measures don’t go nearly far enough for many of us in Ibiza where normal rules don’t apply due to the almost total reliance on a short tourist season which has been decimated in the short term by decisions from airlines and governments that are outside of our control. Let’s hope more measures are introduced quickly but in the meantime make sure you have a good line of communication with your employer, landlord, bank, gestoria/financial advisor to minimise the impact in the short term.

· If you live in Ibiza or Formentera and are experiencing extreme financial hardship due to the Covid19 crisis then please contact social services at your local Town Hall or the Island Council (Consell Insular).

San Antonio: 971 340003
San Jose: 971 800125
Santa Eulalia : 971 332800 ext. 503
Ibiza Town:
Figueretas: 971 394891
L’Eixample: 971 310601
La Marina: 971 313219
San Juan: 971 333362
Formentera: 971 321271
Island Council: 971 195900

· 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 CHANGING VERY QUICKLY. THIS BLOG IS WRITTEN FOR INFORMATION PURPOSES ONLY AND I TAKE NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY ERRORS GIVEN IN GOOD FAITH

10 Things to Do When the Ibiza Lockdown is Over

1. Walk on the beach – There’s nothing like a bracing walk on or near the beach to remind us that Ibiza is one of the most beautiful islands in the world. Breathe in the air, soak up the views and taste the freedom.

2. Watch the sunset – The perennial Ibiza experience and a beautiful way to fully appreciate that time waits for nobody so enjoy it while you can. As we have seen, you never know what’s around the corner.

3. Go and see Es Vedra with your own eyes – It’s big, it’s iconic and it’s worthy of your time. The unofficial symbol of Ibiza has mythical powers that can reduce a grown man/woman to tears (especially after 4 weeks in self-isolation with their loved ones).

4. Have a BIG Party – Nobody puts on a party like the White Isle (sorry Dubai, Vegas and Miami) and the ‘Freedom Party’ is going to be very special. We had the Millennium, we had Space closing but the next one could be the biggest one yet.

5. Keep video-calling friends and family – I don’t know about you but I’ve never been so sociable. Go figure? Amazing technology means we are never more than a video call away from seeing our nearest and dearest. A game changer for the way we live and some of us were too busy to even realise.

6. Keep thanking our health and emergency workers – We always knew they were heroes but never really took the time to acknowledge it. Let’s never forget even when this is all a distant memory.

7. Take the dog on a long walk – Our 4 legged best friends are as restless as we are. That long walk after lockdown in the fresh clean Ibiza air is going to feel sooo good. Fetch!

8. Keep washing hands – Who’d have thought that the best advice to fight a global pandemic would be ‘wash your hands’. So simple yet so important.

9. Visit the supermarket as many times as we want – I used to hate these places but will purposely visit more often when this is all over even if just to thank the staff and remind them of the time they were crowned the real key workers and working tirelessly to feed the islands population.

10. Never take freedom for granted ever again – A bit deep…..but being confined to quarters makes you appreciate the freedom and liberty we have in our normal lives. There are no 2nd chances, time is precious so use it well!

#StaySafe
#StayHome

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