Following a grace period during which increased mask wearing protocols have been in place, but no fines being issued, the Island has now moved forward with fines of 100€ being payable by members of the public for not wearing their mask, and considerably more for businesses who do not enforce the protocols on their premises.
The one week grace period was given so that the new regulations could be effectively communicated to island residents and visitors.
Under the new protocols;-
- In The Streets
- In Urban Open Air Spaces
- In Shops
- In Public Buildings
MASKS NOT REQUIRED
- At The Beach & Pool On The Promenade *
- In The Workplace *
- In Rural Open Air Spaces *
- During Sports
- Whilst Eating & Drinking
- Children up to and including 6 Years
- Children up to and including 16 years whilst at Summer Camp and other group activities.
- Medical Exemptions
- Playing Wind Instruments
* Those items marked with an asterix are subject to Social Distancing being possible and maintained. So to put it in context, if you are on a busy promenade you’ll need to wear your mask, if it is quiet you may choose not to.
Frankly, we were expecting a swift and tough Police enforcement of the tightened protocols with a following press release issued to show the police mean business and were enforcing the regulations rigorously.
However, this does not seem to be the case. Despite enquiries made directly in various communications and enquiries made via social media, we have not been made aware of one person who has yet been fined, and only at the eleventh hour been made aware of one police control enforcing mask wearing, which happened to be in Es Canar.
From all police reports gathered it is apparent that only one fine was issued to a member of the public for non-compliance with mask wearing protocols on Monday 20th July.
Across the Balearic Islands a total of 51 sanctions were issued for breaches of Covid-19 regulations over the weekend. Of these, 14 were issued in the Pitiusas, 8 in Ibiza and 6 in Formentera.
These fines covered a range of infractions including failure to maintain social distancing in businesses, failure to display adequate signage, breaching capacity limits and breaches of mask wearing obligations of staff in hospitality and other businesses.
EDITORIAL COMMENT – NICK GIBBS
“Though my early morning Dog Walk is as anecdotal as it gets in terms of supporting evidence, I will quote it as my experience on totting up those I passed this morning does reflect the comments of many I have spoken to around the Island. The situation is different in Ibiza town, the most heavily populated urban area on the island, where I am told mask wearing has been adopted much more and in advance of the fines. This will also apply to the centre of San Antonio and Santa Eulalia to some extent. But in suburban areas such as ours, this tale is typical.
“On my walk of around a mile I passed 12 people. Of these, 5 were wearing masks, 2 were ‘chinning’ masks and one pulled it up as he passed, and 5 were not wearing masks – and notably, as far as you can tell from demeanor, seemed quite content with their lack of mask.
“The ratio wearing masks has certainly increased. A week ago it would have been a third, and before the tightened regulations it would have been no more than 10%, probably lower than that. But now, with the threat of fines in place, it is clearly still nowhere near the 100% mask wearing take up that the law demands in this setting.
“So, will the police crack down? Who knows, I was certainly surprised they did not flex their muscles yesterday in a demonstration of power to the public.
“And how should we view our mask wearing obligations? I appreciate this is a very personal issue with widely varying opinions, but personally I view it as this. I choose to wear a mask where I am told I have to wear one. I do this for several reasons.
“I am not a conspiracy theorist and am content to accept that far greater scientific minds than mine have decided on this course of action.
“Also I can do without the fine.
“On balance I prefer to encourage our 10 year old son to respect authority. He can become an anarchist in his own terms when he is in a position to choose.
“But my overriding reason, the point I come back to for wearing a mask is this; I do not want to look back and see myself as having been part of the problem. Should a second wave occur, and should we even have to go back into lockdown – something that is far from safe as it stands – I want to be able to look myself in the eye and know I did what was asked of me. I want to be able to look a person who has lost their business in the eye and know I did what was asked of me and was not part of the reason for their demise. Most importantly of all, I want to be able to look a person who has lost a loved one in the eye and be able to say I did what was asked of me, I was not part of their problem, or Ibiza’s problem. To me, that is enough of a reason that overrides all other inner debate.”