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Consell offers health dept. two contact tracers and asks for better info on public health protocol

In a letter today from the Consell de Formentera president to Balearic health minister Patrícia Gómez, Alejandra Ferrer proposed local government’s assistance, in the form of two dedicated contact tracing staff, to contend with outbreaks of covid-19 popping up in the islands. Said Ferrer in her note, “We’re suggesting that these two individuals, hired by the Consell, receive protocol training from the health department and that they interface with department chiefs on a day-to-day basis to optimise coordination. It’s our feeling that the presence of people familiar with the on-the-ground realities of Formentera can go a long way to streamline and improve the work”.

President Ferrer asked Ms Gómez for “good inter-government communication so that Formentera’s policymakers can be clear on Govern directives at all times and keep islanders in the know accordingly”. “It’s crucial that the information we receive come quickly and from official sources”, said Ferrer, “especially when protocol changes and criteria or information updates are involved”. The only way people will follow isolation protocol is if they are informed, said the president, who reiterated a request for transmission data on an island-by-island basis, saying such individualised updates on new infections were essential to understanding the impact of transmissions and the measures being taken to contain them.

Ferrer concluded her letter by highlighting what she called “the overarching end-game”: “whatever form of collaboration helps us stop transmission and uphold public health protocol in the best way possible, particularly as we face the start of school and related activities”.

4 September 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

Plenary participants champion expanded assistance for tourism sector

foto 2020 ple agostMembers of the Consell de Formentera gathered today for local government’s August plenary, an encounter that brought cross-party support for a proposal on expanding furlough packages and targeted aid for tourism sector businesses and employees. Alejandra Ferrer defended the proposal “in light of the unfolding pandemic, ongoing flare-ups and associated restrictive measures”—measures which the president affirmed constitute “serious obstacles for business owners and job holders on our island, particularly given Formentera’s summer-centred economy”.

Assembly members voted to urge Madrid to fund a doubling of furlough packages for companies for whom new outbreaks and decisions taken by leaders at the local and international level have meant forced closures or lost revenue due to cancelled bookings or reduced activity. They called on the central government to put in place targeted assistance for companies and workers in the tourism sector—a sector which, as President Ferrer pointed out, “is particularly reliant on summertime tourism, and even more so in the Balearics”.

Plan for seniors
Assembly members gave united backing to the Consell de Formentera’s pledge to activate an Integrated Plan for Formentera Seniors (Pla Integral de Gent Gran a Formentera) to “continue working with central and regional government administrations to tackle loneliness among the elderly”.

Vice-president and seniors’ department consellera Ana Juan spoke about care received by Formentera’s old people during the pandemic as well as the wider relevance of local seniors. “The public health crisis has intensified the problem of unwanted solitude here in the Balearics and across the country”, she said, calling on “engagement at every level of government in order to rout it”. Juan insisted that building awareness around the issue was a top priority, and highlighted the importance of “enlisting science and statistics to take specific steps to address the issue and prevent it”.

Scheduling for 2021 bank holidays was adopted as well. Given the feast days of Sant Jaume (25 July) and Sant Ferran (30 May) fall on Sundays, assembly members voted to observe the island’s festival days on the feast days of Santa Maria (5 August) and Sant Francesc (3 December).

OAC service in La Mola and Sant Ferran
Sa Unió party members proposed opening satellite Citizen’s Information Offices (OAC) to tend to islanders in La Mola and Sant Ferran—a measure that won the support of both the GxF-PSOE governing team as well as the opposition. Economy, tax office and general services chief Bartomeu Escandell offered that as soon as the Covid-19 crisis and budget allocations permit it, the expanded OAC service will “improve and facilitate the way islanders in the two neighbourhoods engage with local government”.

Cross-party backing additionally came for a Sa Unió motion to convene the Supervisory Board of the Formentera Audiovisual Administration. Culture chief Susana Labrador indicated the most recently scheduled session of the board had been suspended amid emergency orders and highlighted plans for a new meeting in September.

27 August 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

Formentera rules out all activities resembling nightlife and parties

By executive order, the Consell de Formentera is temporarily suspending permits for live music and djs in bars, cafés and restaurants. The order aims to support a Govern balear resolution to modify the Exceptional Measures Plan (Pla de Mesures Excepcionals)—a document which requires the closure of establishments like banquet halls, dance clubs, discotheques, cafés offering musical entertainment and wine bars, as well as the cancelation of any comparable programming.

In addition to a license to operate as either a bar, bar-café or restaurant, most Formentera businesses possess an additional permit for music. Often the permits allow their holder to host live music or djs.

To give force to the guidelines and ensure entertainment equivalent to that typically found in nightlife establishments does not take place, the Consell de Formentera is ordering the suspension not only of secondary permits for bars and bar-cafés but of permits for musical entertainment at restaurants as well. Dinner-time entertainment—limited to musical instruments and voice—may take place, but performances must occur during regular hours and with standard decibel (dB) restrictions in place. Concerts and dj sets are prohibited.

Generally speaking bars, bar-cafés and bar-restaurants are restricted to background music, radios or TVs at low volume (under 70dBs). These must be off by 12 midnight.

Beach bars cannot play music or host any other activity promoting conduct comparable to nightlife. Particular care must be taken to prevent crowds and activities at twilight. Activities considered similar to nightlife will carry associated fines and/or closure of the establishment in question.

Consell de Formentera president Alejandra Ferrer said the measure was about upholding the rules and making them more compatible to the idiosyncrasies of Formentera. “It’s also about helping a sector which this crisis has hit hard. Bar and restaurant operators have first-hand experience with the rules and a very clear understanding of what’s required”.

Under new guidelines no new guests can be seated after 12 midnight and establishments must close by 1.00am. Diners must remain calmly seated and no more than 10 to a table. Among other measures smoking is prohibited unless smokers can maintain a two-metre distance.


21 August 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

Emerging Covid-19 cases prompt Consell to keep sailing school closed

The Consell de Formentera reports that the Escola de Vela will remain closed after an announcement from the Eivissa-Formentera Health Department’s Centre for Covid-19 Case Coordination (CCCC) that three students and an instructor at the sailing school had tested positive for Covid-19 after contact with a classmate positively-identified for the disease last week.

The Consell de Formentera coordinated with the CCCC to implement prevention protocol immediately after the infected student’s family reached out to the Escola de Vela on 15 August. Sailing school staff are updating families on the situation today and advising them that activities at the centre will be suspended until further notice.

The Eivissa-Formentera Health Department announced today it would also screen each of the approximately eighty students enrolled at the school.

Summer school group stays home
As a preventive measure amid concern over one suspected case, a cohort of 11 children and 3 instructors at the Sant Francesc Escola d’Estiu are being asked to stay home.

Crews are intensifying the daily sanitising efforts mandated by public health directives.

The potential Covid-19 positive went into self-isolation on Monday after learning of contact with individuals who had contracted the disease.

Seniors’ programming at Casa de Poble cancelled
In another measure aimed at stemming spread of the disease, the Consell has elected to suspend recreational activities under way in recent weeks at the Casa del Poble in La Mola.


20 August 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

Formentera reactivates hotline and service to track possible covid-19 cases and close contacts

cartell 2020 telefons atencio covid CAThe Consell de Formentera announces it is reintroducing a phone registry to advise and track individuals with covid-19-like symptoms or those who have recently been in close contact with confirmed cases. Any person displaying symptoms or requiring urgent care should call 061. Individuals in non-urgent situations can find detailed information about what to do and phone numbers to call in the coronavirus.caib.es section of the Govern balear website.

Due to the current surge in local cases, the Consell has opted to reactivate its telephone service in addition to the abovementioned resources. The registry and hotline can be reached from 8.00am to 8.30pm via the Consell de Formentera switchboard (971.32.10.87). The service is designed to support the efforts of the health department and ensure islanders’ queries are forwarded on to the proper authorities.

Case tracking
The Consell de Formentera switchboard will keep a register of calls, make note of queries and specific cases and offer general information about protocol to follow and useful phone numbers. Case evolution will be then monitored. The service is coordinated with the health department, which will receive any relevant information from Formentera’s call registry.

The registry was first launched at the start of the pandemic together with the Consell’s monitoring and advisory service for recent arrivals to the island who wished to self-isolate.

17 August 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

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