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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

Formentera urges Govern to facilitate simple, flat-rate PCR testing

In a letter sent today from Consell de Formentera president Alejandra Ferrer to Balearic premiere Francina Armengol, the island’s leader in chief voiced concern over a nascent global trend, witnessed in countries like UK and Italy, towards requiring travellers from Spain to quarantine or perform similar measures, along with the toll such policies stand to take on tourism.

“From day one we’ve been calling for discussions to build worldwide consensus around a system of safe mobility”, said President Ferrer, who said such a move would afford “mutual protection” between countries.

Given such consensus has yet to materialise and in view of the growing list of countries which have applied restrictions to individuals travelling from Spain, Ferrer proposed a response which, “in addition to keeping us safe from covid-19, keeps Spain competitive with other markets”. Among the measures put forth by the president, one in particular is key, and accounts for the recent impulse among visitors’ home countries to oblige returning travellers to submit to testing or face mandatory quarantines. Ferrer trumpeted the idea of facilitating quick, easy and price-fixed PCR testing for all tourists preparing to return to their home countries. “It would guarantee that insurmountable obstacles don’t get in the way of travellers keen to visit our island”, she said.

Ferrer added that such a testing scheme, if applied nationwide to all visitors to the Balearics, would mean perfecting the idea of “safe corridors”, based on partner countries’ commitment to facilitate safe arrivals for travellers who’ve already been PCR tested or, failing that, submitting them to testing on their return. “We could then focus our efforts on becoming a truly safe destination for global and domestic tourism”, she said.

14 August 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

Abandoned cats

cartell som gatsThe Formentera government wishes to raise public raise awareness around the growing number of abandoned cats on the island. Recent weeks have come with numerous discoveries of litters of cats left in rubbish bins. The Consell de Formentera reminds islanders that it is illegal to abandon animals and pet owners who no longer want their animals can contact the Consell’s veterinary service. Fines for abandoning animals vary from €30 to €15,000.

For more information, call 971 32 10 87 (ext. 3164) or email veterinari@conselldeformentera.cat.

3 August 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

Plenary participants press Madrid to seek consensus around domestic and international guarantees on travellers’ health safety

foto 2020 ple juliolA number of proposals got the green-light when members of the Consell de Formentera gathered today for the July full-house assembly: one in particular, brought to the floor by Sa Unió party members and brokered by the GxF-PSOE senior cabinet, calls on the national government to “work toward consensus on international agreements” to control the movements of covid-19 patients before they leave countries of origin and to establish a country- and worldwide system to monitor individuals’ infection status. Guarantees on the reimbursement of costs generated by foreigners required to self-isolate will also be necessary, plenary participants asserted, as well as a cap on the price of coronavirus testing.

Consell president Alejandra Ferrer described the goal as “nation- and worldwide consensus around public health safety for travel within Europe”. “Let there be no mistake, the problem is enormously complex”, she said. “That’s exactly why we’re calling for conversations and consensus at the European level”, continued Ferrer, who said that such an approach could offer “a fix that strikes a balance between public health and the reopening of tourism”.

Assembly members additionally advocated respect for and guarantees on local authorities’ autonomy in managing finances, and agreed to push the central government to remove barriers to funnelling budget surpluses into covid-19 response strategies. “There have been many cases in which local administrations have had to take on responsibilities that aren’t theirs”, tax office chief Bartomeu Escandell pointed out, “often without the corresponding funding from regional and national authorities”, he said.

Broadening protections around La Mola windmill
With “yes” votes from the senior cabinet and the abstention of the opposition, support came for a proposal to expand protections around Molí Vell de la Mola after a recommendation by Institut d’Estudis Eivissencs. Highlighting the input received around the motion to class the “Old La Mola Windmill” as a cultural interest site, patrimony consellera Raquel Guasch held that the safeguards being envisioned, “which can be applied to other sites in the Balearics, are more innovative, and fit more closely with the actual physical layout of the monument”.

Under a second Sa Unió-authored proposal that gained approval after handling by the GxF-PSOE cabinet, the Consell will study the possibility of implementing virtual appointments at the bureau of vehicle roadworthiness tests (ITV), Citizen Information Office and other services.

Cross-party support materialised around the terms of a partnership between the Consell and the Formentera Association for Audiovisual Culture (ACAF) on content production in 2020 for Ràdio Illa public radio. Culture consellera Susana Labrador seized the opportunity to underscore ACAF’s “selfless work to make local radio a reality” and applauded “the efforts of the station’s professional staff to keep islanders informed, particularly during lockdown”.

Report from Consellera Raquel Guasch
Chief of the departments of heritage, language policies and training, Raquel Guasch, stood before the assembly to take stock of efforts her first year in office. She began by saluting the work of department staff and trumpeting “the crucial role of heritage preservation”, stressing its its “social and practical importance” and asserting, “Heritage means nothing if people don’t make use of it”.

“Tangible and intangible heritage are engines of education, enjoyment and social, economic and cultural growth”, said Guasch, “and they need to interact with people”. Looking back over the last twelve months, she extolled fresh energy injected into new classifications of cultural interest sites (BICs); promotion of and education around the Formentera’s underwater and terrestrial heritage, which includes recent discoveries; creation of the first local roads catalogue; more than 350 students signed up for Catalan courses and new tactics to normalise use of the Catalan language, including the Apunts en net initiative; revision of local place names; progress on a framework document for the Formentera museum, and collaboration around the Committee for Memory and Democracy and the Committee for Disappeared Persons and Mass Graves.

31 July 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

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