THE Balearic Island government has made it clear it supports scaling back the coronavirus crisis lockdown in Spain by region.
In a press briefing following Sunday’s videoconference meeting with Spanish President Pedro Sanchez and the leaders of the country’s autonomous regions, Balearic President Francina Armengol pointed out “the Balearics are not in the same situation as Madrid,” adding, “the recovery of citizens’ rights and freedoms has to start.”
Armengol made it obvious she is not happy with the comments of Employment Minister Yolanda Diaz that service sector activities would not restart before December.
“I do not share the view it has to be the end of the year: far from it,” she stressed.
The Balearic President said the regional administrations wants to see the islands’ economy reactivated “as soon as possible,” including the service sector, “safely and when we can.”
She also insisted once again on the need for the state government to have in place protection measures for the islands’ 200,000 or so jobs up in the air and for the business structure, for example related to Social Security contributions, given the likelihood that tourism and associated activities like air transport and trade will start up later rather than sooner.
She repeated the call to keep ports and airports closed as long as possible, even after the lockdown is lifted, to protection the islands’ population from Covid-19 infection.
Commenting on the specific issue of controls on arriving passengers, Armengol asked Sanchez to make health check systems available to all Spain’s regions, and to work with the EU on the matter to ensure “the tools and applications used” are as “standardised and shared” as possible at European level.
She pointed out that the Balearics have been carrying out health checks at its ports and airports since the start of the coronavirus crisis, and to date has checked some 9,000 passengers and isolated 32 possible cases of Covid-19 infections.