THE Balearic government changed its mind about asking Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez to implement a mandatary quarantine for all travellers to the islands from Covid-19 high-risk territories, whether national or international.
The Balearic Islands have had relatively low rates of coronavirus infection compared to other parts of Spain, and there were fears that fresh outbreaks could emerge as tourists arrive from areas like Cataluña and Aragon which have been experiencing a surge in new infections in recent weeks.
In the end though the regional administration did not include the proposal from a committee of experts among the series of requests sent to the Health Ministry this week.
According to Spanish press reports, the rethink on Saturday’s decision to put forward the recommendation was in part down to the likelihood the Spanish government would not agree to such a drastic move, but also because of disagreement on the issue within the Balearic administration itself.
There was reportedly intense debate on the idea among members of President Francina Armengol’s cabinet on Sunday morning, one of the main bones of contention defining exactly what the definition of a risk zone is. Also, whether a compulsory quarantine order would affect people travelling from those zones or residents or the areas.
Among the experts’ requests which were included were a proposal for safety and hygiene controls to be reinforced at the archipelago’s ports and airports for domestic and international travellers, asking also that this be carried out at ports and airports of origin.
It also wants the authorities which manage ports and airports to make areas available for health teams and to establish information points in private ports and landing areas for private planes with clear recommendations on self-isolating in the event of a suspected case of Covid-19.
The Balearic government plans to increase the number of trackers to 400 to guarantee the traceability of all positive cases, but President Armengol also wants a digital contact tool or app to be implemented to support the work carried out by the trackers. Also requested is looking at the implementation of QR tracking tools for locations with large numbers of people.
A further want is carrying out information campaigns to discourage people from moving around if they experience possible symptoms of the virus, especially in territories with very high rates of infection.