THE Balearic government wants Mallorca, Ibiza, Menorca and Formentera to all move into Phase three of the lockdown de-escalation next Monday, allowing for travel between the islands and potentially helping to reactivate the tourism sector.
On Tuesday the administration presented a request to the Spanish Health Ministry for a further easing of lockdown restrictions on all four islands on June 1 on the basis of the evolution of the coronavirus pandemic in the archipelago.
Today’s Balearic government figures show there are currently 213 active Covid-19 cases in the archipelago, while 1,620 people have now recovered from the virus.
A total of 224 people have lost their lives to the illness.
The director of the national Health Alerts and Emergencies Coordination Centre, Fernando Simon, has given the administration some cause for optimism the Spanish government will accept the request.
Commenting during a press briefing yesterday he said that if the evolution of the virus on the islands continued to be ‘for the better,’ it would be taken into account in the evaluation of the request.
But Simon also cautioned there was a need “to be very careful” as moving forward into the next phase could increase the risk of Covid-19 infection.
Formentera, along with the Canary Islands El Hierro, La Gomera and La Graciosa, were the first places in Spain to enter the second phase of the lockdown de-escalation process. They went into phase two on May 18, while Mallorca, Ibiza and Menorca had to wait until last Monday.
Under this second phase travel between the islands is only allowed for reasons of health or work, or to return to usual place of residence.
In its letter to the Health Ministry, the Balearic administration makes it clear that all the current health controls on air and ferry passengers and crew would remain in place.
“This would guarantee that any person travelling from one island to another would be submitted to the corresponding health check, which includes filling out and handing in when disembarking a questionnaire on the passenger’s health, having their temperature taken and a clinical interview by health personnel if applicable, and the activation of the health protocol in the event a passenger shows symptoms compatible with Covid-19,” the regional administration stated.
On Sunday Balearic President Francina Armengol said the archipelago should be one of the first regions in Spain to come out of the State of Alarm.
She maintains that the Balearics’ relatively low levels of Covid-19 contagion should allow for the islands’ tourism season to get going in mid-June with a so-called ‘pilot project,’ while Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said at the weekend that Spain would reopen to international visitors in July.