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Formentera asks for freeze on non-essential activity to continue until at least 26 April

On behalf of the local cabinet, Consell de Formentera president Alejandra Ferrer will petition Govern balear premier Francina Armengol to hold off on reactivating non-essential sectors of the economy at least until 26 April. Spanish prime minister Pedro Sánchez announced this weekend that non-essential businesses such as construction firms could return to work on Monday 13 April.

“The Balearic chief executive made a similar request of the central government yesterday, and this is a way to offer backing in that regard”, President Ferrer said. “To lift part of the confinement measures could be dangerous for Formentera, particularly because we have some workers in non-essential sectors who travel to get here, and that poses an added risk.”

Ferrer also offered that firms in non-essential sectors could file for temporary layoff, or ERTO, status—a route taken by businesses forced to close when confinement began. “For many of these business owners asked to assume the economic costs of the two-week freeze, it’s unsustainable”, said the president, “and we’ll need to help them if this goes on much longer, just like we did with the others”.

Infrastructure for isolation
The president pointed out that hotel owners and the local tourism industry made lodgings available for health emergencies, like individuals with possibly mild cases called on to self-isolate from their families. “Thanks to the gesture by the hospitality and tourism sectors, people asked to self-isolate can do just that”, she said.

Ferrer added that such rooms could also help prevent the local spread of Covid-19 by devoting them to asymptomatic patients. “When we receive the tests Madrid says it is sending to the autonomous regions, we’ll see whether they’re effective detecting mild or asymptomatic cases. If they are, we’ll be able to adopt more preventive isolation measures.”

6 April 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

Consell launches online portal so islanders can follow Antoni Blanc fitness centre’s guided activities

The Formentera Department of Sports has unveiled a virtual access point so users of municipal fitness centre Poliesportiu Antoni Blanc can continue taking part in some of the classes they attended before confinement measures took effect.

Dubbed ‘Sports at home on Formentera’ (Esports a casa a Formentera), the YouTube channel launched today. Three classes are scheduled for the first week, 6–13 April—two in functional training and one designed to help participants build joint flexibility and strengthen their core.

Classes are exclusively for individuals who signed up before lockdown. Participants will receive a link once a week allowing them to connect and see videos.

Department chief Paula Ferrer encourages fitness centre users and islanders alike to take a bit of exercise these days to maintain healthy habits.

Esports a casa a Formentera is just one fitness activity on offer—others, like pilates and zumba, can be found on the ‘Formentera es queda a casa’ site on Facebook.

6 April 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

Sanitising operations at La Savina port

foto 2020 exercit estacio maritima4A ground army team of basic-level sappers and agents specialised in disinfection from the Balearic Islands General Command veterinary unit began sanitising operations at La Savina port after arriving by boat this morning. Efforts centred on the harbour, the two embarkment areas and the passenger wharfs, that is, the piers and a wharf devoted to sea travel.

Unit chief Xisco Garcia Fluxà explained that the men would take the full day and concentrate on “areas of likely coronavirus contamination”, saying the process would require water and bleach solutions applied with sprayers and vapour applicators.

The efforts are part of an operation called ‘Balmis’ being implemented by the central government in response to Covid-19. The operation will send more than 2,500 agents from the Military Emergencies Unit, Royal Guard and three armed forces to 172 towns across Spain.

4 April 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

Vehicle fire

foto 2020 incendi cotxeIn the early hours of Thursday morning, the Consell de Formentera fire crew put out flames that had engulfed a vehicle parked at Sa Senieta building in Sant Francesc. The call came through at 12.53am and five firefighters proceeded to the scene with a water pump and a pickup truck. The apparently accidental blaze started at the car’s front end, and extended to the van parked in the adjacent space. The fire was declared extinguished at 1.50am. Officers of the Civil Guard also intervened in the effort.

2 April 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

Consell unveils first package of economic and fiscal measures to limit economic and social sting of coronavirus health crisis

On behalf of the entire governing cabinet, Consell de Formentera president Alejandra Ferrer signed an initial decree ordering new economic and tax policy measures to contend with the social and economic toll of the coronavirus public health crisis. “Swift action is needed now at every level of public administration”, said the president, “not to mention a joint, coordinated strategy to deal with the fallout as efficiently as we can. The threat this virus poses to people’s health and wellbeing needs to be at the forefront of all our minds”.

In an effort to offer badly-needed financial relief to people and businesses, the Consell de Formentera is taking action, first, by suspending the following:

- Collection during the voluntary pay period, for which the Consell is responsible.
- Notifications concerning public revenue payments.
- Validation of lists detailing monthly tax and government-regulated fee collection.
- Referral to Balearic Islands Tax Office (ATIB) of public revenue payments outstanding as of voluntary pay period.

The Consell will petition the ATIB to extend the period for voluntary payment via bank-to-bank transfer of recurring taxes (initially scheduled 1 August to 1 October). This includes the following:

*Economic activity tax
*Special-characteristics real estate tax
*Rural real estate tax
*Urban real estate tax
*Mechanical traction vehicle tax
*Bicycle tax
*Occupation of public thoroughfare tax
*Waste collection tax
*Access rights for entrances/exits tax

The decree likewise dictates that, from the invocation of the state of alarm through to its rescindment, applicability assessments of taxes and fees collected by the Consell de Formentera will cease. Such taxes and fees have not been referred to the ATIB for collection, save for those related to still-operational services considered essential.

Stimulus for family and social welfare support
Payout of social welfare and family support claims will be prioritised, as will payments to the administration’s service providers, without prejudice to priorities already set out in high-ranking regulatory guidelines. “We intend to look after the individuals and families whose situations entail true vulnerability”, said the president.

Necessary changes will also be made to tax ordinances and municipal service fees in an effort to mitigate the negative impact of the health crisis on local economic, social and productive structures.

“This first decree will be followed by others more specifically targeted and adapted to the circumstances. Insofar as the local government’s jurisdiction is concerned, extraordinary measures are in order as regards tax levying and public revenue collection. Our top priority is to lessen the fiscal knock-on effects borne by families and businesses, the aim being to facilitate a return to normalcy as soon as the public health situation improves.”

“Considering the grinding halt in which Formentera’s social and economic structures are currently locked, clearly very affected by the limitations imposed under the state of alarm, we propose this first package of economic measures”, said Ferrer, describing the steps as “products of the continuous back-and-forth between the various arms of local government, not to mention the island’s range of economic and business stakeholders. They are aimed at helping these actors attain maximum efficiency and adapt to the local economic reality.”

1 April 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

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