PALMA – The announcement came yesterday afternoon that Spain and the Balearics were to remain on the UK’s Amber List for travel. It was greeted with shock and disbelief by the owners of small businesses in Mallorca.
As previously reported, there has been a recent uplift of optimism. It has been hoped that the long-awaited UK tourists would be able to book holidays to Mallorca. And furthermore, allowed to travel without restrictions such as the need to quarantine on their arrival back in the UK.
However, these hopes have been dashed following the official announcement from the UK government.
I spoke with Penny Watson the British Expat owner of Penny’s Tearoom in Costa de la Calma. “This is SO disappointing! Mallorca has stuck by all the rules and guidance issued. And has extremely low rates of infection and increasing numbers of those protected by the various vaccines”.
Penny continued, “Up until now we’ve been getting by thanks to our very loyal regular customers. But we certainly need the British holiday makers ´to put the icing on the cake´ (pardon the pun). Our season is short enough. And, unless there is free travel by the beginning of July, I fear that some small businesses will not be here by next Easter when the new season gets underway.
“This is the worst news”
Jose Perez, the owner of a small grocery store and off-licence told me. “This is the worst news we could have received. We depend so much on the British holidaymakers who occupy the hundreds of holiday apartments here. Our turnover is down and if we don’t get our stock levels exactly right our profit which is currently marginal at best, is further reduced”. Jose concluded, “We can only hope that come 21 June the politicians can give clearance for travel. If they don’t the future looks very black indeed”.
The record in respect of their handling of the pandemic in Mallorca, and indeed throughout the Balearics’s, has been among the best in Europe. According to the official government website, the current infection rate is 0.93%. Today (Friday) only 17 new positive cases were reported in Mallorca (23 in total for the Balearics; Menorca – 3, Ibiza – 3). A total of fifteen patients are currently being treated in ICU.
The Balearics have administered 583,593 doses of the vaccine. In Mallorca this relates to 460,223, Ibiza 68,154, Menorca 50,938 and Formentera 3,971. In total 41.5% of people on the islands have received at least one dose with 19% having received both jabs.
As ever to keep our readers informed, we will be keeping an ear to the ground, monitoring the mood and reporting on developments here in Mallorca.
Your man in Mallorca