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Formentera suspends blue and green zone metred parking for two weeks

The Formentera Department of Mobility announced today it was placing blue and green zone metred parking checks on hold for two weeks. The temporary suspension takes effect Monday and is part of a number of steps taken by the administration in response to the situation of national alarm around the Covid-19 crisis.

Mobility chief Rafael González said that from this Monday, 16 March, residents would have one more reason to stay indoors since tickets to leave vehicles in blue and green zone parking spots would be no longer necessary. Attendants will still do rounds to check for unauthorised vehicles parked in handicapped spaces or areas not fit for parking.

14 March 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

In bid to contain Covid-19, Eivissa-Formentera ferries begin minimum service today

The Consell de Formentera reports that for two weeks starting today and in a measure aimed at containment of Covid-19, ferry service between Formentera and Eivissa will be reduced to a minimum. The new modified service will include ten daily trips in each direction, including early-morning and late-evening journeys.

As the island’s president, Alejandra Ferrer, pointed out yesterday, the latest measure is seen as both precautionary and useful for containment. Under minimum services, the transport of goods considered basic essentials is guaranteed, and all but strictly necessary personal travel is forbidden. The measure will make it possible to implement controls on arriving individuals, who, for instance, will be appraised of a range of recommendations to follow.

Checks of passengers arriving at port
President Ferrer insisted that individuals coming to the island would soon be subject to certain controls. Visitors travelling from affected areas will have their information entered into a database that the Consell de Formentera will use to monitor their condition. Travellers from at-risk regions will be urged to voluntarily self-isolate and public health authorities will monitor their case. Individuals with symptoms must follow the recommendations of health authorities.

Appeal to Armengol
After an address yesterday evening in which Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez declared a state of alert across the entire Spanish territory, Formentera’s chief policymaker sent a letter pointing out Formentera’s distinctly unique situation and calling on Balearic first minister Francina Armengol to see to it that the relevant authorities enact strict measures to control travel onto the island.

Furthermore, depending on how the health crisis develops and in an effort to ensure the safety and wellbeing of Formentera’s inhabitants, Ferrer said she wasn’t ruling out the possibility of making the island’s closure “hermetic”.

14 March 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

As health emergency unfolds, Consell enacts protocol for staff

The human resources division of the Consell de Formentera has put in place a series of precautionary measures to ensure the safety of government workers and islanders and to contain the local spread of Covid-19.

In light of the unique situation, from Monday 16 March:
- In-person support at government offices will be suspended.
- All government business must be conducted over the phone or online.
- Appointments and in-person meetings will be kept to a minimum.

To help staff balance work and family life:
- The workday will be made increasingly flexible.
- Whenever possible, staff will be allowed to work remotely.
- At-risk personnel will be asked to provide the Consell updates about their situation so proper protective steps can be taken.

Human resources chief Paula Ferrer explained that with the prospect of union negotiations off the table, agreement about the new measures had been reached between worker representatives and the Consell.

The island government will continue issuing frequent updates, and Ferrer said “responsibility and effort” would be required of all islanders “as we attempt to navigate the situation as best we can”.

13 March 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

Formentera-Eivissa ferry connections restricted in bid to contain Covid-19

The Consell de Formentera took new measures today aimed at preventing and containing the spread of Covid-19 on the island. “Ferry companies will maintain minimum service between Formentera and Eivissa so goods can continue to arrive”, said President Alejandra Ferrer, “however, we are asking people to forgo all but the most necessary voyages”. The reduction will make it easier for agents stationed in the harbour to check arriving passengers, who Ferrer pointed out would be subject to a litany of recommendations and tips.

The island government is now in talks with the ferry companies to work out details of scheduling and the new restricted entry scheme will be enacted in short order. Following a request from Formentera representatives, later today the Balearic cabinet will review minimum services regulation which will lay the groundwork for this latest containment measure. The regulation calls for ten daily journeys in both directions, and requires early-morning and late-evening service as well.

Checks of arriving travelers
The president explained that the Formentera government is “working with other agencies and administrations to implement security checks for those individuals coming to the island”. Passengers will be provided general recommendations and encouraged to self-isolate if they are arriving from an affected area. Health authorities will be notified as well so that the recent arrivals can be properly monitored.

Ferrer called the minimum services regulation “yet another precautionary measure that will allow us to track entry on the island”, and described it as “a responsible move”. Goods will always be allowed entry and individuals will not be restricted in their movement so long as the travel is necessary, she added, citing examples such as visits to the Eivissa hospital. Inhabitants of the island are asked to avoid any travel that can be put off until later.

Recent arrivals from at-risk areas
President Ferrer also asked all those individuals on Formentera who arrived in the last week from affected areas like Madrid, Barcelona or Italy to telephone the Consell at 971.32.10.87 so they can receive best practices recommendations and be monitored. Such persons should also call 061 if they experience symptoms like cough, fever or shortness of breath and, as a precautionary measure, self-isolate and reduce interpersonal contact to an absolute minimum.

Recommendations for the hospitality sector
Ferrer asked local hotels or restaurants that are unable to comply with containment measures (safe distance, hygiene, continuous cleaning of all surfaces, discouraging groups) to close for the next two to three weeks.

The message was not extended to “basic-needs” businesses like supermarkets and food vendors, pharmacies and petrol stations, which, together with ferry companies, have received informational material about coronavirus, transmission, preventive measures and frequent signs and symptoms.

Ferrer renewed her appeal to islanders’ “sense of individual responsibility” in preventing the virus’s spread, helping keep hospitals in good working order and protecting those groups that are most vulnerable to coronavirus, namely, individuals over 65 and people with pre-existing medical conditions.

According to Ferrer, “exceptional times call for exceptional measures”. She urged islanders to “stay at home whenever possible and minimise interpersonal contact”, adding, “If you absolutely must go out, now is a great time to take walks in nature—where groups can be avoided”. Ferrer thanked the people of Formentera for their cooperation and promised, “If we all do our part, getting back to normal will be that much easier.”

13 March 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

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premsa@conselldeformentera.cat