IBIZA (AFP) .- Summer arrived in Europe and the coronavirus still there. The pandemic that arose in March and that in its first estimates of specialists was a problem for countries in winter, it sparks outbreaks in several nations that believed they had ended the problem. Spain It was one of the first countries to be affected by the outbreak and also one of the hardest hit. After registering a peak of almost a thousand daily deaths in April, in June the state of alert began to relax, to reopen the economy and in July the outbreaks emerged. The security that was believed was going to be achieved did not come and the tourism It is one of the most affected sectors in this holiday season in the entire hemisphere.
Ibiza shows it and feels it. On the beach of Figueretas, like never before, maintaining the recommended social distance to avoid contagions is something simple. On the terraces of the restaurants the clientele is scarce and many of the apartments are closed. So, the once so busy Mediterranean island fears the coup de grace for its season after the British decision to impose quarantine on those who come from Spain, which causes doubts in the vacationers.
Meanwhile, the tourists present and the locals appreciate an unprecedented calm on this island, accustomed summer after summer to being crowded with foreigners and DJs eager to know its nightclubs, its parties and its beaches with clear waters and pine forests.
"The impact has been terrible. The pandemic has hit the island economy for a simple reason: 90% of the island's GDP comes from tourism," explains Vicent Torres Guasch, president of the Ibiza Island Council, a local authority. In the middle of June, the Balearic archipelago had hopes after receiving the first foreign tourists authorized to come to Spain, as part of a bilateral pilot project with Germany. In fact, in July, "the reactivation has been better than we expected," says Iago Negueruela, regional minister of Tourism in the Balearic government.
But the British quarantine imposed on July 27, in response to the increase in cases of coronavirus in Spain, threatens to annihilate that recovery. And this despite the fact that the archipelago has a very low incidence of the virus.
"From the first day customers have called us to cancel their reservation", regrets Lucas Prats, manager of a four-star hotel in the center of the city of Ibiza. "For those who have to work," upon his return to the UK, "quarantine is a problem," he acknowledges.
Nightlife also feels the impact, as the coronavirus outbreak caused the closure of the island's nightclubs, among the most appreciated in the world for the level of their DJs and their endless parties.
On an island used to crowds in summer, tourists and residents appreciate that strange calm. "It's nice, we were walking down the street and the atmosphere was calm", Milly Davies says after a night tour of the city center of Ibiza.
"There are fewer tourists, fewer parties, maybe more families (…) it is also noticeable in the circulation when you want to go to the beach, and that going with children is not bad, "says Santi Soto, a 47-year-old Swiss woman accustomed to coming to the island with her husband and her two children.
In his taxi, Ángel Torres says he listens a lot to his clients about the comment that hopefully things will continue like this, "because there is no overcrowding, neither on beaches, nor in restaurants, nor on the roads, and it is a way to enjoy the island much better than in previous years ", despite the fact that "The economic blow is very strong."
In the upper part of the city, dominated by a fortress, Juan José Roig enjoys the song of the cicadas at home. "We have the island as for us, we are enjoying it like thirty years ago (…) but there also has to be a middle point between people being able to eat and work well and people having space," says this 53-year-old electrician. . "They should rethink the tourism model a little bit, it is inevitable, "he closes.
. (tagsToTranslate) Coronavirus: Ibiza (t) the top island that lives a tense calm due to the strong drop in tourism: between economic anguish and enjoyment – LA NACION