The Balearic Islands just off the coast of Spain include Mallorca (Majorca), Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera. All of them are popular holiday destinations, and the Balearic Government is determined to be one of the first places to re-open to visitors following the coronavirus lockdowns. The islands have experienced relatively few infections (2000), and deaths (224) and their president is keen to find a way to re-open their borders to international tourism by mid-June. Lifting the quarantine rule will not be possible without the approval of the Spanish government.
Airport Coronavirus Tests to Replace the Two-Week Quarantine Rule on Mallorca and Ibiza
The Balearic government is preparing a pilot action plan for Mallorca and Ibiza to ensure the safety of their visitors. Tourists arriving in Mallorca will have to take a test for the coronavirus at the airport. They will be isolated in their hotels for six hours while they wait for the results. Protocols will be in place to ensure there is no cross-infection before the results are known. An experiment they hope can begin later this month will test the system
An Experiment with German Tourists on Mallorca
There is a plan in place to bring up to 5,000 German tourists to Mallorca in mid-June to test these new procedures. It would start two weeks before mainland Spain opens its international borders and abandons the two-week quarantine rule on 1 July. Four hotels on Mallorca are willing to accommodate German visitors from 16 to 30 June. Hotels on Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera are welcome to participate if they would like to.
The scheme aims to prove that tourists can stay on the islands at no risk to themselves after 1 July. However, the island’s press has reported that although it has approval from both the Ministry of Tourism and Ministry of Transport the Ministries of Labour and Health have not yet given their consent.
Will the two-week quarantine continue to apply to other international visitors arriving towards the end of June? It is not clear if it will. However, the quarantine rules will still apply to citizens of those countries, such as the UK, that have their own quarantine rules in place.
All the islands need to be in the final stage of de-escalation from lockdown to implement this plan. Only then can the different areas of Spain make more decisions for themselves. But, as yet, Formentera is the only island that has moved to the final stage and time is running out. If it is successful it may become the blueprint for an alternative to quarantine.