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Amid health crisis, Formentera pledges to care for most vulnerable

foto 2020 serveis socials2The Consell de Formentera reports that, amid the recently declared state of alarm in view of the health crisis, the Municipal Social Services Centre (CMSS) has adopted measures to guarantee the safety of the island’s most vulnerable populations, particularly seniors with limited autonomy. Since the day of the declaration, department professionals have been working to ensure the continuity of care and basic social assistance for not only at-risk individuals and families, but the island as a collective.

In accordance with the local decree on work organisation and minimum services, the following CMSS-related minimum services will hereby be guaranteed:
-At-home care
-Support for victims of gender violence
-Support for at-risk minors
-Mortuary services

In coordination with an array of stakeholders, CMSS is working to retool services so basic social support can be maintained while modulating aspects like type, degree and frequency. Case-by-case reviews have been performed to see how best to offer needed support to islanders, be they beneficiaries of at-home care, recipients of care at the adult day centre, or others, and whether the support is in personal hygiene, food and medication delivery or otherwise.

For Formentera at large, CMSS is also giving families and individual islanders emergency benefits to help cover basic needs like food and personal hygiene and cleaning products. Islanders can call CMSS’s 24-hour emergency hotline for help and resources in cases of gender violence.

CMSS is already in touch with most at-risk persons and families on the island, and is asking not just agencies and services such as law enforcement and healthcare providers but the island as a whole to pass along our contact information to anyone, particularly the elderly, in need of support.

The entire CMSS staff is available or on call to guarantee minimum services even as ministry recommendations and instructions to ensure the safety of staff and islanders are respected. CMSS applauds the efforts of staff and the responsibility they have demonstrated in recent days.

Lastly, with the exception of minimum services, in-person visits at CMSS have been temporarily suspended and support is only available over the phone or by email.

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20 March 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

Consell scales back hours at refuse centres and suspends home pickup of oversize rubbish

foto Deixalleria 2020The Formentera Department of Environment reports that in light of the health crisis, hours of operation will change at the rubbish drop-off point (Deixalleria) and Es Cap waste treatment site, and the decommissioned vehicle disposal yard will temporarily close. Home pickup of oversize waste has also been suspended.

The Deixalleria will open Monday to Saturday from 8.00am to 1.30pm (Sundays and holidays, closed); Es Cap rubbish treatment plant, Monday to Friday from 8.00am to 3.00pm (Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, closed).

According to environment conseller Antonio J Sanz, “the change just made sense”. He described it has part of the wider confinement effort and encouraged islanders to “respect health recommendations, stay home and practice social distancing — for now it’s essential”. “For things to go back to normal we need everyone to be responsible by avoiding all non-essential trips out of the house”, Sanz continued, saying acceptable motives to travel included “buying basic essentials, for example, or going to work if it can’t be postponed or done remotely”.

Handling rubbish at home
The Consell de Formentera reminds islanders of the Spanish Ministry of Health’s recommendation for handling rubbish at home.

Households where no one is infected or under quarantine are encouraged to separate waste as usual. In an effort to reduce the amount of waste that winds up at treatment plants, please remember, proper separation of paper/cardboard, glass, plastics and organic waste if applicable is key. Please only place items in bins that correspond to the accepted items as listed.

And one last short reminder is in order: latex and nitrile gloves such as those used on outings out of the house are not plastic and hence, must not be placed in the yellow containers, which are for plastics only.

Likewise, according to the health ministry, households in which at least one of the members is infected with Covid-19 or under quarantine should dispose of the patient’s waste, including single-use objects like gloves, tissue paper and masks used by the patient, in a plastic bag-lined dustbin (BAG 1) which should be located in the patient’s room (if possible, the bin should have a lid and a foot-push lever). Waste separation in these cases is unnecessary.

BAG 1 must be properly closed and placed inside another rubbish sack (BAG 2), which will in turn accommodate gloves and masks used by the caregiver. BAG 2 must be properly closed before being taken out of the room.

BAG 2 and its contents should be placed into the bag (BAG 3) containing the household’s non-organic and non-recyclable waste — i.e., “resta”. After closing BAG 3, wash hands thoroughly with soap and water for 40-60 seconds.

BAG 3 must be put into the general rubbish bin. Under no circumstance must these bags be placed in organic, plastics, paper, glass or fabric bins or left standing nearby.

19 March 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

Formentera port closed to all but health workers

Formentera’s port will close from Thursday 19 March. The three remaining passenger crossings connecting Eivissa and Formentera will be devoted chiefly to “transporting health workers staff and emergency response personnel to the island”, explained Consell president Alejandra Ferrer.

A Saturday decree mandated the implementation of minimum services, meaning 10 just daily journeys in each direction, but the Consell de Formentera has worked with the regional and central governments to reduce the frequency further still, trimming the number of daily trips to three in each direction.

In fact, the central government is set to adopt a new regulation today that will pare down connections not just between mainland Spain and the Balearics, but for inter-island travel as well. Ferrer pointed out that “in Palma, too, the regional government is expected to adopt a resolution that accommodates travel for health workers — something Formentera has been asking for all along so we could close our port”.

33% capacity
Mobility chief Rafael González indicated that under the new scheme Formentera-bound ferries would set out from Eivissa at 7.00am, 1.00pm and 7.00pm, with return trips at 9.00am, 3.00pm and 9.00pm. In order to respect the two-metre safe distance between individuals, ships must not exceed 33% of normal capacity, and the Guardia Civil will screen all boarding passengers to ensure they have a valid reason for travelling as per the state of alarm.

Guaranteeing supplies
González pointed out that the new restriction would not affect the freight vessels essential to keeping the island stocked. “There are never passengers aboard these watercraft; just goods”, said the conseller, who added that priority was being given for transport of basic essentials. He said the passenger ferry timetable was mainly designed “so healthcare professionals who work on Formentera but live on Eivissa can come to work and go home to sleep if they so choose”.

Meanwhile, the local government has teamed up with Formentera’s small and medium-sized business group, Pimef, the Chamber of Commerce, Formentera Hoteliers’ Group and Formentera Hospital to temporarily free up apartments and lodging for healthcare workers coming every day from Eivissa, the goal being to make things easier for such professionals in order to guarantee hospital coverage during the current health scare.

“The aim of this newest precautionary measure is to filter access to the island”, offered President Ferrer. “It was done at the request of islanders and local business owners to protect the island’s inhabitants from this health crisis.” Once again she conveyed a message of thanks “to the entire island of Formentera, to the emergency response and healthcare professionals, and to our local business community; everyone has done an exemplary job of things”.

17 March 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

Consell allows flexible hours and remote work, plus mandates minimum admin services in view of health crisis

Considering the state of alarm generated by the Covid-19 health crisis, the Consell de Formentera has issued a decree concerning organisation of work and services.

The order, signed yesterday by Consell chief Alejandra Ferrer, calls on government staff to forego all non-essential travel and prioritise employee safety. Department heads are to make arrangements so staff can work from home or remotely; guarantee the provision of minimum services, and maintain positions that pose no risk to staff and are key to service provision.

To help employees balance private and professional obligations, flexible scheduling and virtual work arrangements are to allowed whenever possible. The decree likewise dictates that minimum levels shall apply to the following municipal services: Citizen Information Office (OAC); Secretariat; Accounting; New Technologies; Treasury; Department of Human Resources; Department of Social Services: social workers, family workers, at-home care; Department of Public Safety: Firefighters and Local Police; public lighting; funeral services; cemetery; cleaning brigade; abattoir and animal pound.

Those workers who must remain at home are reminded of their ineligibility for customary holiday leave, personal time and hourly pay. Employees shall stay at home if their functions are declared temporarily unnecessary or are incompatible with virtual work arrangements, though such individuals must remain available should their services be required.

Given the unusual state of things, support and understanding is asked of everyone in light of the changes potentially made necessary by the new organisational scheme for government staff and services.

Department of Human Resources chief Paula Ferrer welcomed the “collaboration and commitment of staff as emergency measures are activated in light of the health crisis” and urged everyone to comply with health protocol. “If we’re going to keep the local government functioning these minimum services are essential”, she said.

18 March 2020
Department of Communication
Consell de Formentera

Mobility decree re: Covid-19

Given the state of alarm surrounding the Covid-19 health crisis, the Consell de Formentera reports that a decree has been adopted with the following protocol concerning public transport on Formentera roads.

Signed today by Consell president Alejandra Ferrer, the decree mandates a caveat on the continued provision public transport: that both buses and taxis must circulate at 50 per cent capacity. Exceptions are made for taxi passengers such as children, the sick and individuals with reduced mobility who require accompaniment. Failing that, ride-hailers travelling by cab must sit in the back seat and leave one seat of space between them.

Operational taxi service is required by law at the Port de la Savina bus-stop whenever ferries arrive. Across the rest of the island, the service is available by telephone at 971 32 23 42.

Both bus- and cabdrivers must advise passengers of hygienic and precautionary measures to be followed by everyone. They must also follow the recommendations of health authorities with regard to cleaning and disinfecting vehicles. Protocol to safeguard staff according to the indications of health authorities are likewise mandated.

Drivers whom health authorities consider to be particularly at risk are encouraged to stay home from work.

17 March 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

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