SECURITY MEASURES COVID: BALEARICS A SAFE DESTINATION
The Balearic Islands are an archipelago in the middle of the Mediterranean made up of Mallorca, Ibiza, Menorca and Formentera with a total population of 1.107 million (as of January 2020) so one would think they are immune from the spread of COVID-19 and, although they are safe, there are certain regulations that need to be adhered to.
Are the Balearics Islands safe to travel to?
The Balearic Health Minister Patricia Gomez recently stated that
“The Balearic Islands have an excellent health system, thanks to which they are today a safe destination.” Gomez also went onto say “The Balearics pandemic figures are favourable with few new active cases.”
The Dreaded “C” Word
Even though we are currently experiencing our second wave of the coronavirus pandemic across Europe, the good news is that the Balearic Islands have a relatively low number of positive COVID-19 cases and therefore are still considered one of the safest destinations in the Med. The Health Ministry reported 195 new positive COVID-19 cases in the Balearics from 2,191 tests. Out of these new cases *125 are on the largest island of Mallorca, with 63 in Ibiza, 6 in Menorca and only 1 in Formentera. The number of positive cases appears to be reducing daily due to the strict COVID-19 security measures that have been put in place by the Spanish Government and subsequently the Balearic Government.
*Latest Coronavirus figures from 27/10/20. All figures correct at time of publication/posting.
Controlling the virus with very strict COVID security measures From the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Spanish Government took the imminent threat very seriously and acted immediately to lockdown the mainland and Balearics, closing all international borders for over three months to try to bring the virus under control. Since the lockdown ended, strict COVID-19 security measures have been put in place for the protection of all residents and tourists.
Compulsory PPE in the Balearics
● Everyone over the age of six has to a wear face mask covering both their mouth and nose at all times while outside including in shops, when car-sharing or when using public transport.
● Maintaining a social distance of 1.5 meters at all times.
● When visiting a cafe, bar or restaurant, you must be seated at tables and wear a mask to go to the bathroom. Hand sanitizer is readily available everywhere and must be used when entering and leaving all establishments
● Smoking is not permitted in any public spaces.
● Heavy fines are given to any person or business caught breaking these rules
Travelling to and from The Balearic Islands
All passengers arriving in Spain, including the Balearics, must complete a health questionnaire (FCS form).
This detailed paperwork must be completed online before flying and on arrival at the airports and all paperwork and QR codes are checked. Temperatures are also being taken at airports and the same health paperwork and checks are happening in the ports and ferry terminals.
All marinas and shipyards are strictly adhering to all security measures and strive to ensure that everyone follows the COVID-19 rules including testing their employees and yacht crew and quarantining yachts, crew, businesses and employees who have been tested positive.
The Balearics also has a COVID-19 Track & Trace system for anyone that has tested positive or has come into contact with someone who has tested positive and advises people to self-isolate for a minimum period of 14 days.
Do the COVID-19 rules work in the Balearics?
The majority of Spanish people are compliant and have done what they are told. There is a strong Local, National and Guardia Civil presence and during the complete lockdown, even the army was drafted in.
People should feel safe in the Balearics and the rules are being adhered to and appear to be working.
New Restrictions in The Balearic Islands
Recently, the Balearic Health Ministry announced new restrictions. Social and family gatherings are to be reduced to 6 people (unless people are living together). Sitting at bars in hospitality establishments is no longer allowed, and the maximum number of people per table is six. The capacity in shopping centres is cut to 50%. The sale of alcohol after 10 pm is prohibited. In sports establishments, the maximum capacity will be reduced to 30% and a maximum of 15 people are allowed for any group activities. Other important news is that once again, President Sanchez has declared a state of alarm in Spain including the Balearics, but instead of another lockdown, the Balearic Government have introduced a curfew from 12 midnight until 6 am. People cannot leave their homes or yachts between these hours unless there is a medical emergency or to look after dependants. This will be reviewed every 15 days, subject to revision.
The good news, however, is that the islands are still open for business with bars and restaurants operating until at least 11pm or 11.30 pm at night.
The Balearic Islands positive environmental impacts of Covid-19
The rules were so strict in Spain and the Balearics that, once we emerged from our 3-month solid lockdown, the positive environmental impact on our beloved islands became very clear. Crystal clear waters, beautiful clean beaches and everything appeared bigger, brighter and greener!
Mother Nature had started to repair because fewer people meant less pollution. Normally there are so many tourists visiting the Balearics (13.6 million in 2019) that it was an absolute delight for locals to experience the islands in a way they have never done before, or probably ever will again. Quiet and peaceful or as they say in Spanish “tranquila.”
So, not only are the Balearics considered safe, but they have become even more of a dream destination for yachts and tourists alike. Not to mention the great weather, gorgeous food, fantastic wine and attentive hospitality that these four unique islands have to offer.
Come and visit us soon!
*Sources: -The Health Ministry -Daily Bulletin Newspaper -World Health Organisation *