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Formentera Police break up party at Migjorn locale

Local law enforcement were dispatched to platja Migjorn this Saturday afternoon in response to purported violations of covid health regulations. Officers reported music and dancing at a party on a building’s upper terrace and participants were observed in violation of distancing rules and mask mandates.

The roughly 70-person party was shut down and earlier today a report and request for expedited processing were sent to the Balearic government.

The Formentera Department of Activities will launch its own probe into potentially unlawful behaviour and violations of municipal ordinances on music and noise pollution.

Beachside botellón
The same day, the island’s agents of law and order broke up a party with music and drinks on platja des Cavall d’en Borràs on the ses Salines reserve. The agents confiscated a loudspeaker and informed the owner of an apparent violation of Formentera’s beaches ordinance, and perhaps other environmental legislation given the nature reserve’s protected status.

Consell de Formentera president Alejandra Ferrer said reinforcements from national law enforcement agencies were critical to “putting controls in place and stopping the proliferation of parties and other situations that could put us in danger”. She also renewed calls on the Balearic government to “use inspections both to explain the rules and to sanction those who don’t follow them”. “A few rule-breakers can cost us all the season, so I ask for responsibility”, concluded the president.

21 June 2021
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

‘Protect Formentera, for you and for everyone’ revisited for summer 2021

cartell 2021 protegeix AThe Consell de Formentera president’s office is pleased to announce the return of “Protect Formentera, for you and for everyone!”, an educational push launched last June as islanders geared up for summer-one of the pandemic. “The aim is to make sure residents and tourists are once again following safety protocol designed to curb spread of Covid-19 and to take care of each other”, explained President Alejandra Ferrer.

With the tagline “Protect Formentera, for you and for everyone!” and reflecting a host of successive public health proclamations, the campaign underlines the chief ways to prevent the virus’s spread.

“Protect Formentera, for you and for everyone!” will be disseminated in several languages across social media and on the Consell de Formentera website, with additional educational material available for download there and on the website of the island’s office of tourism. Signs will also be found in Consell display cases, restaurants, ferries, tourist information points and other places of interest.

President Ferrer affirmed that, as the island prepares for its second summer of pandemic, “we’re wiser for the experience of last year, and everyone from businesses to regular islanders is doing their part to make Formentera as safe as it can be”.

Educational posters displayed at restaurant entrances remind people to wear masks, keep a safe distance from other patrons, wash hands frequently and that smoking is prohibited, with similar information additionally available on tabletops. The revamped poster will be distributed to shops and ferry companies.

17 June 2021
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

Environmental protecctions, housing and solar energy top list of proposals approved at ‘state of Formentera’

foto 2021 debat estat 2Members of local government gathered today for the second day of discussion around the state of island affairs, a meeting that brought cross-party support for all twelve of the cabinet’s proposed measures. Unanimous backing also came for nine of the proposals that were tabled by the opposition, while the remaining three stalled — one after the assembly rejected it outright and another when it was retracted by its proponents. All told, 21 of 23 proposals on the docket met with unanimous support.

Cabinet proposals: Gent x Formentera and PSIB-PSOE

Protecting Formentera
Councillors came together to support the proposed creation of new projects and new models of local environmental protections. Top ranking official and tourism chief Alejandra Ferrer said the initiative would “lay the groundwork for dialogue between the Consell and islanders, by way of Formentera’s league of community organisations, on emerging threats to the local ecosystems on land and at sea”, and described it as “a necessary precursor to discussion around new projects and protections”. “This is about engaging all of Formentera in reflection on the unprecedented challenges we face, and building consensus around what the response will look like”, she stated.

Housing
Councillors voted in unison to press regional government to develop a Formentera-specific approach to guaranteeing access to housing as it has been done elsewhere in the archipelago. Decision-makers agreed the Govern balear should consider local needs and work with Formentera’s leaders on appropriate partnership agreements that would enable a bureau to focus squarely on helping Formentera residents access housing. Deputy chair and housing chief Ana Juan highlighted regional legislation in place requiring legal and administrative support and other services, and said work was needed to adapt such a service to Formentera.

Solar energy
Councillors struck unity again on three proposals to foment solar energy. First, on property tax rebates for people and businesses that install photovoltaic panels. Finance and tax office chief Bartomeu Escandell said the initiative prioritised tax rebates as a way to “promote self-supply installations and increase production of energy here on the island”. “If we can promote installation of solar panels, we can make Formentera more sustainable”, he insisted.

Land chief Rafael González described an ultimately successful change in local planning regulations that will make solar panel production systems mandatory in all new buildings as “making Formentera a more sustainable island in terms of energy self-sufficiency”. The new requirement will further support local production by impacting refurbished and expanded buildings too.

Finally, decision-makers highlighted the need for work at the national, regional and local to fit government buildings with solar panels. “This is about reducing our carbon footprint, building a future where in which we can successfully tackle climate change and turning Formentera into an island that can meet its own energy needs”, said environment chief Antonio J Sanz. “For Formentera to continue being Formentera, change isn’t just important, it’s imperative”, he continued. “Climate change is here, but there’s still time to stop it, and that can happen with the help of measures like this one”, Sanz asserted.

Entrepreneurship
The plenary also gave unanimous backing to the planned creation of a centre for entrepreneurship, expertise, training and business to promote socioeconomic growth, create jobs and support business owners. Besides “a place of support and orientation for people starting a business, a business incubator and co-working space all rolled into one”, the chief of the entrepreneurship department cast the centre as “a way to support other types of business, and, why not, a draw for tourists planning on working here during their stay”.

Education
Also winning cross-party support was a proposal on scholarships to offset the insularity typical of life on an island. According to education and culture chief Susana Labrador, “This is a way to urge the national and regional authorities to ensure these scholarships reflect our triple insularity, recognising how crucial it is that youth leave the island to study and expand their educational horizons. It’s fundamental to guaranteeing equal opportunities and accounting for associated costs.” Labrador said that student financial aid and pandemic-related expansions delivered by the island’s government weren’t enough, and insisted that “the agencies responsible need to do more to help if they are serious about equal opportunities and making sure families aren’t the ones picking up the extra slack”.

Social services
Another moment of unity came when councillors greenlighted a proposal to draft a guide for resources, support and services available to Formentera families, with department chief Rafael Ramírez imagining “an exhaustive source of information for families that’s straightforward and to the point”.

Normalising use of Catalan
On linguistic normalisation, plenary members agreed to press the Consell to review, amend and update its charter on language use. Department chief Raquel Guasch pointed out that “islanders, the island and our government have changed since the document was created in 2001”, and called the revision “key to keeping the charter in step with reality. The sooner we do it, the better”.

El Mollet des Caló
A proposal was adopted with cross-party support to urge the Balearic Islands coastal authority to refurbish el Mollet des Caló, preserving the structure to ensure the integrity of the dock and the identity of es Caló. Infrastructures and rural affairs chief Josep Marí said es Caló residents had long pushed for the repairs, and Formentera’s government led the charge on a similar effort in 2017, but it failed to get off the ground. “That’s why we’re asking the coastal authority to take the lead on this much-needed work once and for all”.

Protecting ses Salines reserve
In another motion that won unanimous approval, assembly members urged the Spanish government to ramp up police patrols at the ses Salines reserve. They also pressed the Balearic government to hire more staff and, in so doing, ensure the effectiveness of environmental protections in land and sea areas of ses Salines and keep them in step with local needs. Councillors also highlighted the importance of policing and penalising activities that are not permitted in protected sites. After praising the efforts of police and security forces, Councillor Sanz affirmed, “We often aren’t able to control all of our protected areas”, and, “The ultimate aim is to protect our environment and our island”.

Aid for agriculture
The first proposal of the GxF-PSOE cabinet involved extending support for professionals in the primary sector and was adopted unanimously. In it, local decision-makers “urge the Consell de Formentera to extend assistance to agricultural workers to help diversify the economy and encourage quality local produce”. Rural affairs chief Josep Marí explained it thus: “It’s about creating new lines of subsidies to increase the support we give to the sector. The recovery of the countryside is visible thanks to the local farmers’ co-operative, which has become the driving force in agriculture and has encouraged new entry into the field. To continue with this momentum, we’ll be pursuing assorted avenues, including subsidies for biodegradable materials and ways to protect heirloom species and the agricultural landscape”.

Grup Sa Unió de Formentera PP-Compromís
Of the 12 proposals presented by the opposition, one was withdrawn, two was rejected and the following nine adopted with unanimous support:

- To press local government to urgently address the second phase of the improvements on the road to es Cap de Barbaria.
- To press local government to draft and tender improvements on the road to Cala Saona.
- A cabinet-brokered measure to press the EU, the government of Spain, the Balearic government, the Consell Insular de Formentera and every government agency that deals with immigration to implement appropriate collaborative measures within their sphere of competence to provide urgent, effective and permanent responses to the current migratory challenge.
- A cabinet- and opposition-backed motion to press local government to continue promoting the primary sector to finalise and implement a project encompassing, showcasing and regulating locally sourced produce.
- To press regional government to urgently adopt a downward revision of water prices per measures adopted by the Formentera plenary.
- To press local government to finalise its registry of municipal positions and to implement a position that was adopted in plenary in 2019 and which secured funding as part of the Consell’s 2021 spending plan.
- A cabinet-brokered motion to press local government to engage in public consultation on groundwork for regulation of s’Estany des Peix, ensuring the participation of users on one hand and Consell d’Entitats member groups as well.
- To press local government to urgently tender Formentera’s public transport contract.
- To press local government to award the contract for waste management as soon as possible and per the established timeline.

16 June 2021
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

Formentera relaxes restrictions amid improving Covid figures, but complying with public health rules still key

foto 2021 nova relaxacioConsell de Formentera premiere Alejandra Ferrer and the Balearic director of public health, Maria Antònia Font, held a press conference today 15 June at 6.00pm at the seat of local government to assess the epidemiological situation on the island and announce new public health measures in place from next Saturday. Formentera and the rest of the islands will remain at tier 1 of public health alert.

Ferrer said the island’s current Covid-19 figures were “positive”: “We’ve got five cases right now and everyone is at home with home care”. The cumulative incidence in the last 14 days is one per 100,000 and the positivity rate is 1.37%.

The figures fit snugly with what Ferrer described as a “good start to the season”. She praised “regular islanders and businesses for the effort they’ve made and continue to make to comply with constraints stemming from public health rules. Now that we’re loosening restrictions in light of improving Covid figures, we’re asking once again for help from residents and the island’s business community”.

Ms Font said the decision by the Govern to relax some of the exceptional and temporary constraints geared toward stopping spread of Covid-19, including the freeze on nightlife activity, stemmed from the fact that Formentera was the island with the best situation today, with an accumulated incidence of 25 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. Bars and restaurants on all the islands may now open more hours as well, she said, and most services and facilities may now open at 75% capacity.

New measures

Social gatherings
There are no limitations on gatherings between friends and family, but caution is encouraged and measures devised to prevent Covid-19 spread, like promoting outdoor activities, should still be followed. Groups should limit their size to 15 when outdoors and 10 indoors.

Restaurants
Restaurants may open until 2.00am indoors and out. No more than six to a table inside, where seating shall be limited to 50%. At no time shall the total number of patrons exceed 150.

Up to 12 people per table are allowed outdoors, where restaurants can observe normal capacity provided the number of customers does not exceed 250.

Diners must stay 1.5m apart, wear masks and follow protocol at all times.

Nightlife
Cafés that offer entertainment, bars with food and normal bars may open in accordance with regulations applicable to the hospitality sector. Whether indoors or out, food and drinks may be consumed but this must be done while seated at the table, with 6 people per table inside and 12 people per table out. Diners who are not eating or drinking must wear a mask. Establishments must close by 2.00am at the latest, or earlier if so dictated by their licence. Dancing is not permitted indoors or outdoors.

Nightclubs must remain closed.

Beaches
Beaches and similar open-air public spaces will remain closed between 12 midnight and 6.00pm.

Shops
Local shops may open till 12 midnight at full capacity. Other measures —masks, social distancing, ventilation, hygiene— will also be required to prevent the spread of Covid.

The preceding measures will be approved Friday by the governing council and will come into force after their publication Saturday in the Balearic gazette.

Checks at ports and airports
In addition to measures to be approved on Friday in the extraordinary session of the governing council, domestic travellers arriving in the Balearics will be subject to new checks at ports and airports. Those controls too will take effect pending ratification by the Balearic Islands high court and publication in the regional gazette.

Vaccination
Lastly, President Ferrer touted 3,693 first doses of vaccination already administered on Formentera, and encouraged the population to “get vaccinated when the time comes, so that together we achieve herd immunity”.

Before the press conference, Ferrer sat with Ms Font; deputy premiere and councillor of commerce and entrepreneurship Ana Juan and the second deputy premiere and culture and education chief Susana Labrador to discuss Formentera’s unfolding epidemiological situation and new public health measures to be adopted. Ferrer and Font also held an online meeting with regional chief Francina Armengol, the other representatives of the island councils, the Balearic Islands Business Federation (FELIB) and the city council of Palma.

15 June 2021
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

Minute of silence

foto 2021 juny minut silenciToday at 12.30pm, local officials, municipal staff and regular islanders gathered at the steps of the island’s government to observe a minute of silence in condemnation of male-on-female murders in Tenerife and Seville. Attached is a photograph of the moment.

14 June 2021
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

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