Ibiza Covid19 Update – Monday 23/03/20

As we enter the 2nd week of lockdown here’s an overview for Monday 23 March 2020 of all relevant Ibiza Covid19 information from the last few days.

· Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced on Sunday that the State of Alarm, that currently runs until 29 March, will be extended for 2 more weeks until 11 April. This needs approval from Spain’s lower house, the Congress of Deputies, but this should be a formality. If passed the lockdown will continue until the Easter weekend. Congress will vote on March 25.

· Ibiza now has 31 confirmed cases of the virus and has experienced its 1st death, an 85 year old man with underlying health issues. 14 patients have been admitted to Can Misses Hospital and are in a stable condition, 4 are serious in intensive care and 13 are showing mild symptoms and are isolating at home under the supervision of the UVAC. There are currently 331 cases in the Balearic Islands with 9 deaths and 17 discharges.

· UVAC (Unidades Volantes de Atención al Covid19) are the mobile ‘Flying Covoid19 Care Units’. Ibiza has 5 and Formentera has 1. Each UVAC is staffed with a doctor, nurse and driver who have received special training and education. Their objective is to professionally care for patients infected with Covid19 offering safe and quality home care, treating infected cases with mild symptoms in a stable clinical situation and guaranteeing adequate levels of infection prevention for the people living with the patient.

· A resident at the Can Blai retirement home in Santa Eulalia has tested positive for the virus and is in hospital. All other residents and 6 staff have been tested and are awaiting results.

· By next week the Balearic Islands should have a new rapid test available that can confirm the presence of the virus within 10 minutes. Tests will be carried out on mild patients and will be coordinated from the Islands’ health centres. The tests can also be carried out at the affected person’s home, in a mobile health unit or in a special area set up in health centres.

· Francesc Albertí, spokesman for the Autonomous Committee for the Management of Infectious Diseases said “Rapid service points will be created in the different health centres so we can do the test right there. As soon as we have them, we will start straight away”, he also added that UVAC professionals will decide who take the test.

· The telephone line for questions and queries about the virus that launched last Wednesday registered about 100 calls during its first 3 days of operation according to the management at Can Misses Hospital. Anyone showing symptoms compatible with Covid19 (cough, fever or fatigue) or for any other health matter should call 971 437079 or 902 079079 to have a telephone assessment and be advised of the next steps.

· Blancadona sports centre, near the convention centre in Ibiza, is now operational as a provisional homeless shelter. By the 3rd night there was 32 people (29 men/3 women) using the facility which has 50 spaces but this can be increased to 70. The Spanish Red Cross will be responsible for the installation with a staff of 10 who take turns to facilitate the different services. There are also 2 security guards at all times. In addition to beds, users have showers and toilets and use of washing machines. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served through a catering service. If you know anyone requiring help contact the social services, Red Cross or Civil Protection Agency.

· The Ibiza Island Council’s Office for Women has set up an extra facility to accommodate victims of gender violence. Although this was planned before the state of alarm it has been accelerated to respond to a possible increase in cases of ill-treatment due to confinement. Island Minister for welfare, Carolina Escandell explained that each of the 8 rooms can take a woman (and child) so that they have their own space and privacy but stressed that the facility can be further adapted if required to offer between 10 and 15 places. If you know anyone requiring help contact the social services, Red Cross or Civil Protection Agency

· The Ibiza Island Council has introduced an on-demand bus service for weekdays for those most affected by the cutbacks to public transport. Minibuses will operate but you must reserve them by 7pm the night before. For more information on the affected lines you can call the Consell Insular on 19 59 00 or visit the web portal eivissa.tib.org. +MORE DETAILS AT BOTTOM OF PAGE.

· A new flight timetable has come in to effect for connections to Madrid (Iberia), Barcelona (Vueling) and Palma (Air Europa).

· There are daily flights to Palma and Barcelona with Madrid available 3 times per week on Sunday, Wednesday and Friday. You can only travel if you are a health worker, returning to your habitual residence, for justified work reasons or caring for a dependent. Those arriving in Ibiza should expect delays of around an hour as controls are in place. Check airline websites for full availability.

· Police have been saying to dog owners that their pets can only be exercised within 10 metres of their front door. The official wording of the law says ‘neighbourhood’ but police are becoming more hardline after some owners were found to be flouting the guideline taking their pets for long walks.

· Supermarkets are advising to keep receipts in case customers are stopped in the street. During roadblocks police have been advising that only one shop per week is allowed so common sense is recommended if you are currently leaving the house several times per week to shop.

· Many fines are still being given out for non justified presence on the streets including a reported case of a person being fined for coughing without covering their mouth. The Local Police in Ibiza, with help of the National Police, has handed out 60 fines in the last 4 days for failure to comply with the state of alarm. In addition, 785 vehicles have been controlled and 547 people have been identified. Police are also warning against the unnecessary movement of residents between homes.

· Mari Mayans, the local distillers of the famous hierbas brand has offered the Government of Spain 12,000 litres of alcohol that it has in storage as well as the use of it’s facilities should they need it in the fight against the global pandemic.

· 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 and Tricia Templeton

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

+BUS DETAILS
The affected lines and numbers to call to arrange service on demand
L16 Sant Carles-Santa Eulària and L18 es Canar-Santa Eulària
provided by HF Vilás (971 317 306-659 60 56 25, ibiza@sagales.com

L33 Sant Mateu-Santa Gertrudis by Autocares Lucas Costa
971 31 27 55 – 654 501332, autocareslucascosta@gmail.com

L11 Ses Salines-Ibiza , L15 Cala Llonga-Ibiza, L30 Santa Agnès-Sant Antoni and L42B es Cubells, Cala Vedella and Cala Tarida) by Voramar el Gaucho
(971 34 04 12 – 647 35 1153, reservas.ibiza @ alsa.es)

Spanish Prime Minister warns that ‘The Hardest Days are Yet to Come’

On Saturday evening Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez made a live address to the nation warning of the seriousness of the crisis but valuing the “social response”. He also defended the current strategy adopted and has ruled out taking further measures for the time being.

Sánchez’s address was to prepare citizens for the short term future saying that the most difficult moments are yet to come. “We are at a very critical moment and very hard days are coming, for which we have to prepare ourselves psychologically and emotionally”. He said that all citizens need to reach the end of next week “very strong, very strong”. “We are yet to receive the impact of the hardest wave that will put all our moral capacities at the limit ” he said in an emotional speech.

He demanded that the nation be “united” as he continues to protect citizens to avoid contagion and to “flatten the curve” while maintaining a “morale victory”.

Sanchez admitted that the difficult times in the coming weeks will change people but “it depends on us to change us for the better.” re-emphasising that risk “is everywhere” while justifying the general confinement that has been ordered.

During his speech, PM Sánchez acknowledged that Spain is one of the countries most affected in Europe by the pandemic and has recognised that the virus has several different characteristics from those of the common flu and that it spreads much faster and is more lethal.

For this reason, he has to insist that everybody complies with the confinement measures adopted by his Government. One of the biggest concerns he stressed was the need to ‘buy time’ which is needed for two reasons : for the health system to be able to cope and to also ensure that a vaccine is found.

For these reasons, he has made it clear that he will not argue with other administrations or with the Presidents of the Autonomous Communities, stating that his duty is “to maintain unity”. “Nobody in my government is going to argue” with any political adversary because everyone’s enemy is the virus.

Sánchez has assured that he will not spend ‘a second of his time’ arguing with other administrations despite the fact that both the Catalan & Madrid presidents have complained that the Health Service was making it difficult for them to access medical supplies.

Sánchez stressed that he assumes “all responsibility” for managing the crisis to try and stop the spread of the coronavirus “This is bringing out the best in ourselves “.

Sánchez was also questioned on whether he was also taking responsibility for what was done before the number of infections in Spain rapidly increased. The question specifically alluded to the management undertaken in January to March and especially when the Women’s Day marches took place on 8 March.

Sánchez replied: “1st March, April, May, June, August, September … Until we find the vaccine. I am the President of the Government of Spain and I take full responsibility” He also said that he demands of himself and his team “greater commitment and dedication”. “We are not resting, we are working intensively to tackle this pandemic”.

Source: Diario de Ibiza

Fri 20 March – Ibiza Covid19 Update

New information is inevitably slowing down as Ibiza residents come to terms with the new measures put in place, here’s an overview of the latest regarding the Covid19 situation on the island.

There are now 19 confirmed cases in Ibiza, 16 are recovering at home and 3 are in hospital including 1 in intensive care.

Balearic health authorities are studying whether non-essential operations can be delayed, priority will be given to oncology patients.

The Guardia Civil has carried out a deep clean on the new Can Misses hospital disinfecting vulnerable areas.

The old Can Misses hospital is being prepared (if required) for those that need control but are at the convalescence stage.

Civil protection officers are delivering food to the most vulnerable.

The Caritas homeless charity in Ibiza Town are helping the vulnerable with basic groceries on Mon, Wed, Fri from 9am-1pm.

Anybody experiencing severe financial hardship should contact their local town Hall or Social Services.

Specific guidelines have been published for anyone who has been infected by Covid19

Spanish airspace remains open but flight connections to the island have been greatly reduced as follows:

1 flight per day between Ibiza and Mallorca (Air Nostrum/Iberia)
3 flights per week between Madrid on Wed, Fri, Sun (Iberia)
1 flight per week between Barcelona (Vueling)

Some international flights will still be operating in the short term as they are required to repatriate tourists. If you are booked to come over to Ibiza on these flights then please be aware that you have to prove residency before boarding and on arrival. Check airline websites for full details as some are being cancelled at the last minute.

Ports are closed except for goods and cargo vehicles

Guardia Civil and the authorities are stepping up road blocks with heavier fines in place for those outside without justification.

Bus routes – only a third of capacity can be used and if the driver doesn’t have a glass screen then the front row must be kept empty  – check Ibiza Bus website for details of routes still operating.

For at least the next month energy providers (water, gas, electric) are not allowed to suspend services for non-payment.

Emergency measures have been put in place if you are self-employed or run your own business – see your financial or legal adviser (gestoria) for more details.

Banks can suspend mortgage repayments for those most affected – speak to your bank manager regarding this.

The 8pm salutation to the first responders and healthcare staff carries on every night putting a much needed smile on faces.

Local government websites and credible social media pages are the best places to gather important information and 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

Stay safe & best regards

With special thanks to Lesley Donald and Tricia Templeton

VERY IMPORTANT: INFORMATION TAKEN FROM CREDIBLE PRESS AND GOVERNMENT SOURCES HOWEVER THE SITUATION IS CHANGING VERY QUICKLY. THIS BLOG IS WRITTEN FOR INFORMATION PURPOSES AND I TAKE NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY ERRORS GIVEN IN GOOD FAITH

Ibiza Covid19 Update – Thu 19 March 2020

After 3 busy days, yesterday was less hectic with regards to new information, here’s an overview.

Ibiza Covid19 cases remain at 10 with 6 at home and 4 in hospital. There was a scare in Santa Eulalia when it was reported that a schoolgirl had contracted the virus but thankfully it proved to be a case of miscommunication with a lot of relief all round.

The Balearic Govt hopes to have rapid detection tests in place by next week so it can expand testing which is currently performed only on those with severe symptoms.

Ibiza Island Council President Vicente Mari has warned residents to stay indoors and if they can’t justify why they are on the street they “should accept the consequences”. Authorities have so far issued 42 fines to residents unable to justify their movements or over capacity in vehicles.

Mari reiterated that “the health emergency remains our main concern and all efforts must be aimed at stopping the spread of this disease and caring for the affected people”.

Flights between Ibiza and Mallorca will stop today and now only national flights will operate to/from Madrid and Barcelona with 1 flight per day per airline.

Entry to the island is restricted to returning residents or those coming to carry out essential work and is subject to health controls on arrival.

Disembarkation at ports is now only for the drivers of goods transport vehicles to maintain supply and and to allow essential movements.

Public transport on the island continues to be affected. 10 bus lines have been cancelled and the frequency is running at 40%. Check the Ibiza Bus website for more details.

Road blocks continue and new fines have come into place for vehicles on the roads with more than 1 person without a justifiable reason. The penalty is now 300 to 1000 EUR

Ibiza Social Services are not closed. If anybody has queries regarding dependency, disability, social monetary help, non contributory pensions then you can call this number: 971 177272.

Police have been warning some local residents that garbage should only be taken out at certain times. There should be a sign on the bins but if not then 7-11pm is the general rule. Also, although there has been no official guidelines regarding supermarket visits, 1 per day has been mentioned but I will post about that as and when it happens.

Restrictions are being amended daily but Veterinary clinics can continue to open and hairdressers can travel to houses.

All Spanish touristic hotels have been ordered to close by 24 March and foreign nationals still in Spain should contact their consulate for repatriation flights. Any hotel or apartment block housing essential workers can remain open.

Construction workers can continue to work as long as they respect distance between each other although this might change in the coming days as restrictions get tighter.

The car hire company ‘Autos Isla Blanca’ have donated use of their fleet to health centres so they can do home visits

Inditex, the owners of Zara, have offered to start producing protection masks, overalls and anything else required by the health industry. They have pledged financial help of over 250 million euros and offered use of their logistics network for for shipments between Spain & China

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said that the worst is yet to come but promised reconstruction budgets for 2021

King Felipe VI of Spain gave an impassioned speech live on TV last night. He asked that we all heed to what we are being told to do and that this was a crisis that, together, we can fight and overcome.

Stay safe & best regards

Special thanks to Lesley ‘The Machine’ Donald & Tricia ‘Lady T’ Templeton

VERY IMPORTANT: INFORMATION TAKEN FROM CREDIBLE PRESS AND GOVERNMENT SOURCES HOWEVER THE SITUATION IS CHANGING VERY QUICKLY. THIS BLOG IS WRITTEN FOR INFORMATION PURPOSES AND I TAKE NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY ERRORS GIVEN IN GOOD FAITH

Wednesday 18/03/20 – Ibiza Covid 19 Update

Tuesday was a very busy day for new information coming in. Here’s an overview of the evolving situation in Ibiza and the Balearic Islands with regards to Covid19.

There are now 10 cases of the virus on the island. 6 are at home, 4 are in hospital with 1 in a critical condition.

Police are becoming a lot more visible on the streets with an increase in fines handed out to anybody outdoors without justification.

Road blocks have been set up in prominent places questioning all cars of their destination and intentions. The army have been deployed in Mallorca so there’s a high likelihood that will happen in Ibiza very soon.

The major development in the Balearics is that all international flights & private jets have been cancelled although there will be 1 flight per company per day from Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia and Palma.

These flights must be at reduced capacity to allow passengers to sit away from each other and any foreign nationals arriving on the islands will have to prove Spanish residency on arrival via green certificate.

The flights situation is likely to become tighter as the crisis moves forward and a complete shutdown may happen. If you really want to get back to Ibiza any time soon then jump on the next available flight.

All tourists in the Balearics and Spain will be repatriated to their own countries over the next few days and until then they should abide by the rules and regulations. There are 123 Spanish Pensioners staying in 2 hotels in Santa Eulalia who will be flown home today or tomorrow.

All boats and ferries have been cancelled until further notice except for cargo. Formentera is an exception and will run 3 ferries per day with reduced numbers for health reasons.

Supermarkets on the island are well stocked and remain open and home deliveries are running as normal. Some smaller shops remain open that sell fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, petrol, telephones, bakeries, small computer shops, florists, tobacconists and press.

Those shops that must remain CLOSED are textiles, clothes, hardware and paint, electrical goods, furniture, shoes, sports, jewellers, books and 2nd hand goods.

The Spanish Prime Minister has promised a huge economic rescue package of 200 billion euros protecting workers rights, helping with mortgage payments and special conditions for self employed people to help carry on their business. Your gestoria or legal advisor will have more details.

Pharmacies remain open and the amazing Can Misses hospital continues as usual but with more health restrictions in place. You should check by phone if your appointment is still valid. The hospital is ringing patents wherever possible to confirm. Repeat prescriptions will be automatically renewed for the next 2 months.

The mobile vehicle inspection unit at the convention centre has been closed down as it couldn’t comply with distances required to prevent contact. All ITV stations in Spain are now closed. The Ibiza Island council is in the process of organising a safe haven and food for those people living on the streets, they will prepare 30 beds at the Blancadona Sports Centre with possibility of more. Hoteliers are providing beds and sheets.

Regarding public transport, the Island Council are studying suspending services that aren’t used at the moment and upping frequencies on others that people need to get to work.

The King of Spain will make a live TV broadcast to the nation this evening at 9pm where he will appeal for calm during these unprecedented times.

As always local government websites and credible social media pages are the best places to gather important information and 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

Special thanks to Lesley Donald and Tricia Templeton who are working hard to provide all important information.

VERY IMPORTANT: INFORMATION TAKEN FROM CREDIBLE PRESS AND GOVERNMENT SOURCES HOWEVER THE SITUATION IS CHANGING VERY QUICKLY. THIS BLOG IS WRITTEN FOR INFORMATION PURPOSES AND I TAKE NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY ERRORS GIVEN IN GOOD FAITH

Ibiza Covid-19 Update – Tuesday 17/03/20

The Covid-19 crisis here in Ibiza and Spain is a quickly moving situation but Islanders appear to be remaining calm.

The first working day of the lockdown was a strange affair. Whilst the majority stayed indoors, a lot of people went about their daily jobs as normal. The building sites were busy, the council workers still digging holes and fixing roadsigns. When is a lockdown not a lockdown – when it’s an Ibiza lockdown of course 🙂

Things will change in the coming days. To underline the seriousness of the situation the Spanish government has brought in new laws overnight with fines ranging from 100 – 600,000 EUR for infractions during the state of alarm. Also civil disobedience can be punished by up to 18 months in prison.

Ibiza has got it easy though as it’s still our off-season. Looking across the water to Benidorm, they have a big problem with tourists (mainly Brits) refusing to stay indoors as they want to ‘enjoy’ their holiday. It may be St Patrick’s long weekend but the reality of the situation is yet to hit home for some.

Spain closed its land borders last night which was not unexpected and in line with what other European countries have done. Ibiza Airport remains open but there were many cancelled flights and it’s only a matter of time before international flights cease to arrive except for government sponsored ‘mercy flights’. National flights will also cut back and heavily regulated.

Meanwhile an action plan has been put in place to repatriate all tourists from Spain to there own country. There were 25 international flights leaving the Balearics on Monday, all hotels in the Balearics will soon be closed until they get the green light to re-open again.

Ibiza is in the precarious position of receiving daily flights from Madrid where the Covid-19 virus is prevalent. Madrid has over 4000 cases whereas Ibiza has only 2 but can Spain stop its residents from returning to their family homes? If the virus continues to spread without hindrance then the answer is yes but the worry is that it could be too little too late with all eyes looking to the summer season.

The spontaneous applause happening all over Ibiza and Spain at 8pm goes viral every night. It’s a glorious show of unity towards all those working on the frontline during the crisis. Long may it continue but hopefully not for too long (if you know what I mean).

Government institutions are open but many are operating by telephone and e-commerce only. The post office is open 9.30-12.30 but restrictions may apply to limit numbers and social interaction so please be patient.

As always local government websites and credible social media pages are the best places to gather important information and please pass on wherever possible.

These are unprecedented times with so much happening on a daily basis but things will calm down as the rules tighten. All we can do is put our faith in the new measures, support the health workers, follow the guidelines and hope for a speedy resolution.

Best Regards

Special thanks to Lesley Donald and Tricia Templeton

VERY IMPORTANT: INFORMATION TAKEN FROM CREDIBLE PRESS AND GOVERNMENT SOURCES HOWEVER THE SITUATION IS CHANGING VERY QUICKLY. THIS BLOG IS WRITTEN FOR INFORMATION PURPOSES AND I TAKE NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY ERRORS GIVEN IN GOOD FAITH

Ibiza Covid-19 Update – Monday 16/03/20

The reality is starting to hit home that Ibiza and the rest of Spain is on lockdown and under a ‘state of alarm’ that gives the authorities special powers to curb freedom of movement. This will initially last until 31 March 2020.

There are some who are still trying to bend the rules however we all have a duty to politely persuade them that this isn’t acceptable and that only by staying at home and minimising contact with others can we combat the threat of spreading the virus.

The situation is evolving by the hour and the rules will get tighter as the week goes on, we are already seeing supermarkets, fast food delivery outlets and financial institutions come up with specific guidelines, many flights have been cancelled and police are highly visible on the street. We should all stay calm and follow the rules and help to get through this as quickly as possible.

Thanks to Mayor Marcos Serra for sending a video message to the English speaking community of San Antonio and even though he needlessly apologised for his English it was very welcome and greatly appreciated.

To recap, he asked us to stay inside unless there is an urgent and justificable need for any of the following

To buy food

Go to the pharmacy

Go to the medical centre

Go to work

Care for the elderly, young and those who need our help

Go to financial or insurance institutions

Go to Petrol stations

The establishments that can remain open are as follows.

Food, beverages, basic necessities, medical, optical, orthopaedics, press, tobacconists, technology, animal food stores and laundries.

There was some initial confusion over dog walking as it is forbidden to go out for sports, although it’s now been stated that pets are allowed to be walked individually within your neighbourhood.

Others and I will continue to post credible updates on social media but the message is crystal clear so please follow the guidelines and stay home wherever possible. With everyone’s help we will be able to return to normal as soon as possible.

Best Regards

Special thanks to Lesley Donald and Tricia Templeton

VERY IMPORTANT: INFORMATION TAKEN FROM CREDIBLE PRESS AND GOVERNMENT SOURCES HOWEVER THE SITUATION IS CHANGING VERY QUICKLY. THIS BLOG IS WRITTEN FOR INFORMATION PURPOSES AND I TAKE NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY ERRORS GIVEN IN GOOD FAITH