The Spanish Department of Heath has confirmed that an Italian man has become the first reported case of Coronvirus in Ibiza. The man entered Can Misses Hospital on Wednesday complaining of fever and cough symptoms and after tests were sent for analysis, it was confirmed today that he had contracted the COVID 19 virus. The island of Ibiza is heavily reliant on the Tourism industry and the news could not come at a worse time after the recent cancellations of the Ultra Festival in Miami, and two of the biggest music Festivals in France, Tomorrowland Winter in Alpe d’Huez and Rock de Pistes in Ports du Soleil. French authorities stated “with heavy heart we are enforcing the cancellation of large events bringing together people from different Nationalities on closed Festival grounds and event locations”. Italians make up the third biggest demographic of tourists that visit Ibiza each summer after the Spanish and British and there is now anxiety building on the island as to the season ahead.
To date there has been no official statement from any of the islands big clubs with regard to the Coronavirus outbreak and how they expect to deal with it. The body representing the islands leisure industry Ocio Ibiza has not made a statement but did share on its Facebook page an article concerning the Coronavirus affecting a Jazz Festival event at Heart this weekend. In the article, the organisers are advising guests that if they have a fever or have travelled to an affected area, to stay at home with the club also reassuring clients that they have installed Anti Bacterial Gel dispensers. Spanish authorities have been adopting a wait and see approach to the virus which is understandable, considering much of their economy relies on Tourism. With the 2020 clubbing season due to get underway on May 9 with the Odyssey Opening Party weekend at Ushuaia and Amnesia, an expected crowd of up to 20,000 people usually travel to Ibiza for that weekend alone.
Of all the tourist destinations in Spain, Ibiza would be one of the most resilient with only 20% of its tourist footfall associated to the clubbing industry, the rest is normal Tourism much of it Spanish mainland related. The islands politicians and Hoteliers are normally pragmatic and will do their best to keep the island open. While Italy and France have been shutting down schools and public buildings to try and contain the virus in the hope that it can save most of its summer tourist season, Spain like the UK, has yet to respond instead moving to a “delay” phase. Right now it is important to stress that Ibiza is open for business and is taking a common sense approach to its season ahead and waiting to see how the outbreak develops. Self isolate, stay healthy and make an informed and educated decision on travelling anywhere in Europe. I’m sure that many Ibiza regulars who have been complaining about rising prices on the island in recent years will take advantage of any price drops or deals that may arise over the coming months. Unless the Spanish Government state otherwise, I myself will be travelling to Ibiza this summer. In the words of Roger Sanchez, “see you on the dancefloor”.