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About Covid-19 in Ibiza

An outline of Ibiza's situation in the wake of the Coronavirus crisis

Featured in: | Ana Hernández, Ibiza Editor | Published
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As Ibiza opens up to tourists this summer, we ponder if and when you should consider coming to the island and whether the White Isle is a safe destination to visit. Spoiler alert – on balance, our answer is yes; local businesses and authorities have been working hard to turn Ibiza into a safe haven for visitors this summer and are preparing to safely welcome travellers.

The world has been turned upside down in the last few weeks and our new normal is full of uncommon words like lockdown and social distancing, while face masks and hand sanitiser are now part of our daily routine. However, things are rapidly changing and, as Europe opens its borders, we take a look at the situation in Ibiza.

Is Ibiza on lockdown?

No, Ibiza is no longer on lockdown! The island entered lockdown on March 15th 2020 together with the rest of Spain. However, the White Isle was never as badly affected as the mainland, with the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases across the Balearic islands making up only 1% of the country's total.

As coronavirus cases dwindled, the Spanish government took the first steps on what they called 'desescalada' or 'de-escalation', a four-stage plan (from 0 to 3, each lasting at least 2 weeks) to relax the country's strict lockdown measures. Ibiza ended this 'desescalada' on June 21st.

Shops and shopping centres are open (with a reduced 75% capacity), as are restaurants and bars at 75% of their usual capacity (and full capacity on terraces), as well as hotels. Museums, cinemas, theatres, gyms, pools, natural parks, markets are also allowed to welcome customers. Nightclubs are also open for a maximum of 300 people until 02:00 while events cal also be celebrated (albeit with a reduced volume of people: 300 seated people indoors and 1,000 people outdoors) while safety and hygiene measures remain in place. Groups of maximum 25 people are allowed to gather and travel within Europe is permitted.

When will you be able to travel to Ibiza?

EU visitors can enter Ibiza since June 21st while the rest of the world will have to wait just a little bit longer, until July 1st. There will be no quarantine imposed on those coming to the Balearics.

On June 14th, Spain's Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, confirmed that Spain could start safely welcoming European tourists on June 21st. This was in response to the European Commission's call on member states to gradually reopen internal borders to kickstart the summer season. External EU borders reopened on July 1st and only visitors from a dozen countries will be able to enter the continent during the first phase. The list, disclosed by Brussels on June 29th and confirmed by Spain a bit later, includes the following states:  Australia, Canada, South Korea, Japan, Georgia, Montenegro, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay.

Strict safety measures such as temperature checks, disinfection of aircrafts, compulsory use of masks, online check-ins and reduction in the number of bags to be taken onboard will ensure that everyone is safe when coming to Ibiza.

When will hotels & restaurants open in Ibiza?

Ever since Ibiza exited lockdown on June 21st, restaurants, bars, nightclubs and beach clubs aren allowed to welcome visitors both into their indoor and outdoor spaces at 75% of their usual capacity – a welcome respite for Spaniards. Hotels are also allowed to reopen, although their public area must be limited at 75% of their normal capacity. Groups must be comprised of no more than 25 people. They all still need to comply with strict safety and hygiene measures.

In the Balearics, the local government has also announced that they'll grant hotels, restaurants, bars and other leisure centres and facilities permits to extend by 15% to make it easier for them to comply with the required safety distance among customers and workers. As for museums, tourist sights, cinemas, theatres and other cultural centres, they have reopened and are fully operational, as are outdoor theme parks and events.

What are businesses in Ibiza doing to keep customers safe?

We keep talking about safety and hygiene measures but, what are they exactly? Businesses in Ibiza have taken steps to ensure that they provide a safe environment for both their customers and their workers, such as:

  • Social distancing: Spain recommends a distance of at least 2m between people. There are different ways to ensure this, from reducing capacity to increasing the space between tables at bars and restaurants (as we mentioned before, they'll be allowed to extend their premises by 15% while most town halls are letting bars and restaurants increase their terraces by as much as 50%). Installing screens to separate customers is another option and many hospitality businesses have already been testing them.
  • Disinfection: Shops, bars, restaurants, rental properties, hotels, cinemas, theatres... they'll all be fully disinfected periodically, as well as after each customer when workers will also clean their hands thoroughly. Hand sanitiser is already available everywhere, from supermarkets to small shops and cafes.
  • Protection: Face masks are mandatory in public spaces, including streets, when keeping a safe distance of 2m isn't possible, as well as in public transport (including planes). Gloves are also encouraged in shops and supermarkets while temperature checks are already being carried out in airports and will be commonplace in most public spaces in the next few weeks.
  • Information: Businesses in Ibiza are designing specific Covid-19 protocols and they'll inform the public of the steps to follow before and during their visit.

Will you be able to go to the beach in Ibiza this summer?

Beaches in Ibiza are already open to the public! Groups of up to 25 people are now able to enjoy the island's 'playas' together. Being able to maintain social distancing of at least 1.5 metres on beaches is something that both authorities and local businesses have been contemplating for weeks, especially since the law mandates that there must be a space of at least 4m2 per person on the sand. It's ultimately up to the local town hall to decide which method they want to use to avoid large gatherings and these include creating different entry and exit pathways, installing informative panels, increasing police patrolling and cleaning the beaches regularly.

Worry not, however, the sun keeps shining bright, the Mediterranean waters are cleaner than ever and we expect a drop in the number of beachgoers so the beaches will probably be quieter... a silver lining if ever there was one!

7 tips to stay safe in Ibiza this summer

1. Follow safety and hygiene guidelines
We keep repeating it but following safety and hygiene rules is the best way to stay safe on your holidays in Ibiza. Here in Spain, we talk about the rule of the "3 Ms": keep a distance of 2 Metres, wash your 'Manos' (hands) and wear a Mask (or cover your nose and mouth). Try not to touch your face as well... we know, easier said than done!

2. Trust Ibizan businesses
Not only are businesses in Ibiza putting strict safety and hygiene measures in place but they've also made cancellations much more flexible. This means that, if for any reason you're forced to cancel your holiday, you'll probably be given a full refund.

Look out for our Covid-Proof Booking symbol when booking your accommodation or your activities on our site. For example, Privadia, who have an extensive portfolio of luxury villas all around the island, are offering a full refund of your deposit (which has been reduced to 25%) and/or balance payment  if a government-imposed lockdown due to Covid-19 directly prevents your travel or the booked service being provided.

The same is true for activity companies, including some private boat trips and boats for hire that are the perfect way to maintain social distancing, which brings us to our next piece of advice...

3. Avoid the crowds
The easiest way to comply with social distancing is to avoid crowds altogether. We've got a few strategies to help you with that like, for example, booking a whole villa or an entire apartment instead of a hotel room, that way you can prevent bumping into other guests during your stay. Or perhaps chartering a private yacht would be more up your alley? Sailing the Mediterranean seems like a pretty good way of social distancing.

After weeks of confinement, being outdoors, breathing fresh air and feeling the sun's warmth on our skin is just what we need. In Ibiza, you can also opt for private activities and tours instead of group ones, such as embarking on a private boat trip or hiring a boat and booking individual scooter or jeep tours instead of coach tours. You can even explore the island on a bike or on horseback, book a private guide for your hiking or sightseeing trip and visit the local vineyards to taste their wine. Scientists are actually testing whether heat and UV radiation in sunlight might affect the SARS-CoV-2 virus, two things which are plentiful in Ibiza in the summer – just remember to lather up with sunscreen!

4. Book early
Limitations regarding the amount of people that businesses can welcome or the crowds that events can gather are being enforced. That's why, now more than ever, we recommend you book early. This will ensure you get the best table on Ibiza's trendiest restaurant's outside terrace!

5. Get off the beaten path
Another great strategy to avoid the crowds and to discover Ibiza's hidden gems along the way is to visit the island's lesser-known places. Ibiza is full of charming towns and villages, many of which are still no more than 15 minutes away from the nearest beach but they have very few inhabitants and even fewer visitors. This is where the real Ibiza resides, you'll get to mingle with the locals at the weekly markets and enjoy cheap cañas with tasty pa amb oil at the town square cafes. These small towns are also a great base to go hiking, cycling or mountain biking.

Ibiza also has a few charming secluded coves, far from the hustle and bustle of the most popular beach resorts where you can relax and go snorkelling in the most amazing turquoise waters. Culture vultures will appreciate the dozens of prehistoric ruins, medieval churches, country manors, watchtowers, small museums and art galleries scattered across the island.

6. Entertain at yours
Celebrations aren't off the table this summer in Ibiza. However, instead of booking a restaurant or a beach club, why not ask a catering company to bring the party to you? Private villas, apartments and boats make for great venues and the island has an excellent selection of catering companies ranging from Michelin-starred private chefs to mobile food trucks providing the best street grub from your own private garden.

7. Come during the off-season
This is our ultimate piece of advice: avoid the high season and move your holidays to the autumn. In Spanish, we have a word to describe how very special autumn is in our country: 'veroño'. A combination of 'verano' (summer) and 'otoño' (autumn), veroño perfectly depicts the fall season as an extension of summer thanks to the warm temperatures and wonderfully sunny days. With temperatures ranging between a balmy 16ºC and a toasty 27ºC, usually hovering around the mid-20ºC, you can most definitely still enjoy the empty beaches in September and October in Ibiza while cheaper prices will just be the cherry on the cake.

More information

Everyone's working hard to ensure that Ibiza has a safe summer season. And it looks like we're in for a treat as Spain's Meteorological Agency is predicting that it'll be warmer than usual. For up to date information on travelling during the Coronavirus crisis, please visit the Covid-19-dedicated WHO's website and the UK Foreign Office's Spain travel advice website or ask your local authorities.

Stay safe and remember that we're here to help you with your bookings and with any questions you may have about Ibiza.