ALONGSIDE the tragic human costs of the coronavirus pandemic, the impacts on the Balearic Islands’ economy are set to be catastrophic.

As many businesses opt to implement ERTEs, a temporary lay off of workers, some 400,000 people are expected to be impacted.

This prediction by the General Workers Union (UGT), represents an astonishing 80% of the islands’ labour market.

More than 2,000 companies have already submitted a request to roll out ERTEs since the lockdown was enforced by the Spanish Government.

The UGT said this number will rise given the uncertainty of the unfolding health crisis.

mallorca beach
PARALYSED: The tourism season usually kicks off between March and May

This can largely be attributed to the region’s high dependence on the tourism industry, which is forecast to take a €1.8 billion hit between March and May.

The substantial loss was calculated by the Fundacio Impulsa platform through an analysis of figures released by the National Statistics Institute on traveller spending and income gained within the sector over the same period last year.

Director and economist Antoni Riera, who performed the study, explained that the data shows that the Balearic Islands will be paralysed by COVID-19 at a time when it usually thrives.

At present, ports in Ibiza, Formentera, Mallorca and Menorca have been closed, while airports are running a ghost schedule dedicated solely for repatriation purposes, and all tourists have been ordered to return home, with no indication of when they can return.

It comes as a further 81 people have been diagnosed with coronavirus in the Balearic Islands, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 562.

The death toll currently stands at 19, with six people losing their lives in Mallorca yesterday.

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