Frankly, an Utter Shambles.
Let’s work through the last 24 hours.
Late Tuesday 15th of September,
The Mayors of Ibiza Town and San Antonio issued details of the local lockdowns that had been instructed by the Balearic Government.
The provisional details included maps showing the neighbourhoods affected, and details of the protocols coming into force.
These were …
- “The free entry and exit of people in this area is restricted except for travel properly justified as going to work, school, doctor, banks…”
- “Circulation through these streets is allowed whenever they originate and destination outside this core”.
- “The circulation of resident people within the core is allowed, although it is recommended that the population remain at home and advised of travel and non-essential activities”.
- “The closing time of establishments, shopping premises, restaurants, bars and cafes will not be able to exceed 22:00 hours in any case.”
- “Social gatherings can’t exceed 5 people if they aren’t coexisting”.
- “Activity of gyms and sports centers of all kinds, parks and gardens, and children’s playgrounds for public use and children’s leisure premises is suspended.”
At this point, with no mention of any group being exempted, it was considered that tourists would be subject to the new rules along with everybody else, so that if your accommodation is within the boundaries, you would be subject to the same restriction on movement.
Morning of Wednesday 16th September
In a promised update to the previous night’s provisional protocols, Mayor Marcos Serra confirmed that Tourists would be exempted from the regulations and so could move freely inside and outside of the restricted zones.
Here is what we published at the time …
Breaking: The local lockdown rules applying to movement DO NOT APPLY TO TOURISTS. So if you are staying in accomodation inside the exclusion areas, you can travel freely within and outside of that exclusion area, so you can travel throughout Ibiza as normal. You’ll need to travel mind, as every business within the exclusion zone must be closed by 10pm (as far as we understand it, this will also include your hotel bar).
Baffled? Don’t blame us, we’re just reporting the facts.
Since first publication of the provisional protocols we were receiving a lot of critical reaction both with regards to what many considered the arbitrary nature of the zone radius itself, and also the rules to be imposed.
Once this tourist exemption amendment was published, much reaction turned to that of bewilderment.
Evening of Wednesday 16th September
Contrary to the earlier official statements by San Antonio Mayor Marcos Serra that tourists would not be subject to the local lockdown rules in coming into force, it was announced that tourists will be subject to the rules, and so will have to follow the same rules as local residents over the initial 15 day period the toughened protocols will be in place.
The correction was made at a joint press conference held by the Mayors of San Antonio, Marcos Serra, and Ibiza Town, Rafa Ruiz, from the headquarters of the Consell de Ibiza.
We do not yet know whether this is a policy U-Turn in response to huge criticism levelled at the local rules today, or that the tourism exemption was never intended, but somehow communicated to the public in error.
Either way, an utter shambles, no doubt adding much more confusion to an already confused public of both local residents and our island visitors.
What Does It Mean For Tourists
As we understand it now, a tourist staying in a hotel within one of the geographical exclusion zones will be restricted to that area, as they will not by definition fulfill any of the criteria island residents have to leave the area, such as work or taking children to school, or visiting their bank etc.
In Ibiza Town this will mean they are restricted to a completely urban area, however there are not many, possible no, hotels in the restricted zone.
However in San Antonio there are hotels in the restricted zone, and the restricted zone does not extend to any coastline. There are areas in San Antonio where they can go as far as the pavement on the other side of the road from the paseo, but not go onto the paseo itself – or to put it another way, they can see the sea and beach, but not touch it. Tourists will be able to use any bars and restaurants open within their restriction zone, but only until 10pm when the entire area closes. After that their only choice outside of their hotel room will be a stroll around a completely closed neighbourhood.