IN the midst of the coronavirus lockdown, the Government of the Balearic Islands has demanded that a series of protective measures are enforced.
Speaking at a press conference this afternoon, President Francina Armengol revealed that she had spoken to Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and key members of the Government via videoconference to lay down her formal requests.
In a bid to ease the impact of the health crisis on employment and the economy, Armengol explained that she had appealed for Sanchez to adopt specific exceptional measures to protect the Balearic Islands.
This includes deferring mortgage payments for those whose income will be negatively affected by the lockdown, such as local business owners and the self-employed.
Taxation on large companies may also be postponed and deadlines to pay electricity bills could be extended.
“In the face of some very difficult weeks ahead, we must implement measures to protect the self-employed and small-to-medium sized business, as well as large corporations who provide employment for others,” said Armengol.
Furthermore, additional measures are asked to be put into effect to protect workers and the unemployed who were counting on seasonal contracts.
“I have asked the Prime Minster to protect workers, guarantee jobs and unemployment benefits.
“We do not want this situation to generate more layoffs.”
Armengol also urged for more stringent travel restrictions to be put in place in Ibiza, Mallorca and Menorca, far greater than the 50% reduction proposed in the state of alarm decree.
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Meanwhile, Armengol explained that strict instructions have been passed on to hoteliers across the islands.
Not only must they not take any new reservations during the next 15 days, but tourists who are staying at their establishments will be asked to return home as soon as possible.
For those that have a second home in the Balearic Islands and are considering travelling, Armengol has urged them to reconsider, and only come back when normality returns.
“Tourists from the rest of Spain who are currently on the islands should return to their autonomous communities immediately.
“Foreigners must also understand that being here means staying locked up inside a hotel.
“We are asking for an enormous effort from civilians so that we can contain the spread of coronavirus,” concluded Armengol.
The demands come as 11 more people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the Balearic Islands, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 55.
This includes 50 in Mallorca, three in Menorca and two in Ibiza.