Police enforcing the stay at home directive today in Figueretas. image credit Alvaro Perez Fraigola
Its a question that’s on the lips of many expectant holidaymakers, workers and business people associated to the White isle this summer. After an authoritative and direct state of emergency speech by Pedro Sanchez last night, many people are worried about the impact it may have on their incomes and health. Sanchez was at pains to point out that Health is his governments paramount priority, but one also gets the feeling they are protective of the economic impact of Covid 19 on their massive tourist sector. To put some perspective on the figures involved, the clubbing industry in Ibiza has an annual turnover of €770 million and employs 35% of the islands workforce. It cannot afford to loose a full season and many of the people who reside on the island live there on a diet of meager savings and in winter, on a daily hand to mouth existence. Its not easy, only the tough and those who truly understand and love the island, survive.
The big problem Ibiza and other areas of Spain have to contend with as a matter of urgency, is the influx of people from Madrid and Italy. Sanchez decreed that the airports for now, remain open, but restricted to 50% capacity. Many wealthy parents in Ibiza send their kids to schools in Madrid and citizens of that infected city have holiday homes in Ibiza – visitors from mainland Spain are the islands largest social demograph. Many fled Madrid to other areas of Spain to escape the breakout in the capital city and their free movement as potential high risk carriers, is what the locals in Ibiza are most worried about – a similar situation as to the one at Cheltenham where thousands of racegoers have returned to their communities in Britain and Ireland after a mass Petri Dish social experiment in cultivating Covid 19 for distribution into the population. We wont know the full effects of the Madrid and Cheltenham transmissions for another two weeks, the normal incubation period for the Covid 19 virus to start showing symptoms of infection.
So at the start of April, we expect to have a clearer understanding of the crisis, and how many people are infected in Ibiza. I then expect Sanchez to roll out another two weeks or more of stricter shutdown, (depending on infected cases) and its after that period, roughly around mid April, that we should start to tentatively hear from Hotels, Tour Operators, Clubs and Airlines as to their policy for the upcoming season, which will also be impacted by each countries home situation. At this stage nothing is ruled out for the Ibiza summer season ahead, so my advice is to sit tight, adhere strictly to public health warnings, self isolate, boost your immune systme and wait to make an informed and educated decision with all the facts to hand on May 1, the traditional opening date of the Ibiza summer season. Also don’t rule out the possibility of the season being extended into November, as island authorities with powerful political links to Madrid via the Matutes family, will do their very best to keep the island open for business.