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Sanitising operations at La Savina port

foto 2020 exercit estacio maritima4A ground army team of basic-level sappers and agents specialised in disinfection from the Balearic Islands General Command veterinary unit began sanitising operations at La Savina port after arriving by boat this morning. Efforts centred on the harbour, the two embarkment areas and the passenger wharfs, that is, the piers and a wharf devoted to sea travel.

Unit chief Xisco Garcia Fluxà explained that the men would take the full day and concentrate on “areas of likely coronavirus contamination”, saying the process would require water and bleach solutions applied with sprayers and vapour applicators.

The efforts are part of an operation called ‘Balmis’ being implemented by the central government in response to Covid-19. The operation will send more than 2,500 agents from the Military Emergencies Unit, Royal Guard and three armed forces to 172 towns across Spain.

4 April 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

Vehicle fire

foto 2020 incendi cotxeIn the early hours of Thursday morning, the Consell de Formentera fire crew put out flames that had engulfed a vehicle parked at Sa Senieta building in Sant Francesc. The call came through at 12.53am and five firefighters proceeded to the scene with a water pump and a pickup truck. The apparently accidental blaze started at the car’s front end, and extended to the van parked in the adjacent space. The fire was declared extinguished at 1.50am. Officers of the Civil Guard also intervened in the effort.

2 April 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

Consell unveils first package of economic and fiscal measures to limit economic and social sting of coronavirus health crisis

On behalf of the entire governing cabinet, Consell de Formentera president Alejandra Ferrer signed an initial decree ordering new economic and tax policy measures to contend with the social and economic toll of the coronavirus public health crisis. “Swift action is needed now at every level of public administration”, said the president, “not to mention a joint, coordinated strategy to deal with the fallout as efficiently as we can. The threat this virus poses to people’s health and wellbeing needs to be at the forefront of all our minds”.

In an effort to offer badly-needed financial relief to people and businesses, the Consell de Formentera is taking action, first, by suspending the following:

- Collection during the voluntary pay period, for which the Consell is responsible.
- Notifications concerning public revenue payments.
- Validation of lists detailing monthly tax and government-regulated fee collection.
- Referral to Balearic Islands Tax Office (ATIB) of public revenue payments outstanding as of voluntary pay period.

The Consell will petition the ATIB to extend the period for voluntary payment via bank-to-bank transfer of recurring taxes (initially scheduled 1 August to 1 October). This includes the following:

*Economic activity tax
*Special-characteristics real estate tax
*Rural real estate tax
*Urban real estate tax
*Mechanical traction vehicle tax
*Bicycle tax
*Occupation of public thoroughfare tax
*Waste collection tax
*Access rights for entrances/exits tax

The decree likewise dictates that, from the invocation of the state of alarm through to its rescindment, applicability assessments of taxes and fees collected by the Consell de Formentera will cease. Such taxes and fees have not been referred to the ATIB for collection, save for those related to still-operational services considered essential.

Stimulus for family and social welfare support
Payout of social welfare and family support claims will be prioritised, as will payments to the administration’s service providers, without prejudice to priorities already set out in high-ranking regulatory guidelines. “We intend to look after the individuals and families whose situations entail true vulnerability”, said the president.

Necessary changes will also be made to tax ordinances and municipal service fees in an effort to mitigate the negative impact of the health crisis on local economic, social and productive structures.

“This first decree will be followed by others more specifically targeted and adapted to the circumstances. Insofar as the local government’s jurisdiction is concerned, extraordinary measures are in order as regards tax levying and public revenue collection. Our top priority is to lessen the fiscal knock-on effects borne by families and businesses, the aim being to facilitate a return to normalcy as soon as the public health situation improves.”

“Considering the grinding halt in which Formentera’s social and economic structures are currently locked, clearly very affected by the limitations imposed under the state of alarm, we propose this first package of economic measures”, said Ferrer, describing the steps as “products of the continuous back-and-forth between the various arms of local government, not to mention the island’s range of economic and business stakeholders. They are aimed at helping these actors attain maximum efficiency and adapt to the local economic reality.”

1 April 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

To tackle Covid-19, Consell de Formentera pushes Govern balear to do more to inform, monitor, detect and control

In a letter sent today, Consell de Formentera president Alejandra Ferrer explained to the premier and health minister of the Govern balear, Francina Armengol and Patrícia Gómez, respectively, that since the invocation of the state of alarm, members of local law enforcement, firefighters and Civil Protection corps have been implementing control measures to see to it that restrictions put in place to prevent the local spread of Covid-19 are respected.

In recent days the island government has supplied the forces with protective equipment that’s key to their safety, however, as Ferrer pointed out in her missive, the very nature of such individuals’ work puts them at risk. The president underscored the profound importance of emergency responders’ protection, since an infection among their ranks could trigger “a drastic reduction of services and a stunting of local emergency responders’ reactive capacity”.

Formentera’s president detailed to the Balearic officials the local government’s voluntary registry of more than 300 recent arrivals—individuals who are tracked, given updates, and encouraged to call 061 if they present symptoms. The Formentera Department of Social Welfare contacts older islanders living alone and pitches in with tasks that pose particular challenges, while members of Civil Protection are due to make their own rounds to give elderly islanders information updates and check in, Ferrer said.

She likewise pointed out that Formentera’s sole Mobile Covid-19 Unit [UVAC] is meant to be tasked exclusively with home calls for patients with symptoms who present possible Covid-19 cases, and that the unit should also be assessing which cases warrant hospitalisation and ensuring proper monitoring of family members in order to control possible sources of infection.

The president pointed out that “Formentera has just one hospital and, should cases surge suddenly, we run the risk of seeing services overloaded and those in need of urgent care —both Covid-19 patients and individuals with unrelated care needs— neglected”. “It’s important we understand that a portion of Formentera’s healthcare workers come from Eivissa, and the infection risks inherent to travel mean that, whether workers are local or taking the ferry from Eivissa, keeping them safe is paramount to our hospital’s ability to continue functioning without becoming an infection source”.

Ferrer highlighted the following requests in her letter:

1. Closer monitoring of minor cases
Better and stricter control measures can be developed for essential staff whilst maintaining current protocol in which individuals presenting minor cases carry out confinement and self-isolation and are monitored via telephone, and hospital care is reserved for serious cases. Improvements can also be made to the way we monitoring of minor cases, strengthening our footing as we confront the situation today and enabling proper care for affected individuals.

2. Testing for the island’s emergency responders
A mechanism can be created without change to current protocol so that, similar to healthcare workers, emergency corps members with possible contagion exposure can be tested quickly and easily and continue performing their work safely.

3. More powerful Mobile Covid-19 Unit
The Formentera UVAC, created to treat homebound patients who have tested positive for Covid-19 or present symptoms consistent with it, should expand patient support so proper review of virus development can be ensured, increasing ease of mind for homebound individuals with symptoms and their families and preventing further spread.

4. Closer monitoring of recent arrivals
Individuals having arrived on the island from other locations should be subject to closer monitoring to make sure they respect measures in place and self-isolate as required.

5. More information from 061 emergency response and UVAC
Between the Consell de Formentera and local 061 emergency responders, more robust collaboration is needed around calls concerning possible Covid-19 cases. Key for the UVAC, meanwhile, is a closer monitoring of each case, particularly individuals who have tested positive, to keep the Consell informed while still respecting the confidentiality of sensitive information.

“We are asking for these measures because early detection, both in individuals close to confirmed positives and in suspected infections, can stem further spread of the virus and will help avoid overloading and endangering hospital services”, she said, offering a willing hand for “whatever the Govern balear might need as we tackle Covid-19.”

30 March 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

Consell de Formentera essential services

In line with Royal Decree 10/2020 (29 March 2020), the Consell de Formentera establishes the following minimum services from today 30 March to 9 April:
-Help at Home (Servei Atenció Domiciliària, SAD) and support for minors and victims of gender violence.
-Fire department and local police.
-Mortuary and cemetery services with vigil and funeral ceremonies in accordance with Order SND/298/2020 to limit propagation and spread of Covid-19.
-Maintenance and cleaning brigade: minimum operational maintenance of municipal facilities and cleaning of those areas necessary for essential services.
-Abbatoir (Escorxador).
-Pound (Canera).

The decree also lays the groundwork for establishment of minimum required action to maintain service crews and infrastructure, including defining minimum personnel or shifts similar to holiday or weekend protocol.

The current decree was itself preceded by exceptional measures and work at home schemes. Under the new order, individuals unable to work from home must register for a permit for recoverable mandatory retribution (permís retribuït obligatori recuperable), and have until 31 December 2020 to reimburse or compensate pay from interrupted work. Details to follow will be agreed with the administration.

Leave is to continue unchanged for workers already at home on leave or active vigil as a result of Covid-19.

As the Consell de Formentera is not considered an essential service, urgent registry transactions will be performed by email, and telephone support will continue. The online portal of the Citizen Information Office, the Ovac, will remain active.

30 March 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

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