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Economic help for companies battered by covid-19

foto 2021 economia CConsell de Formentera premiere Alejandra Ferrer, deputy premiere and entrepreneurship chief Ana Juan and economy and finance chief Bartomeu Escandell sat down with Manuel Porras, the director-general of economic promotion, entrepreneurship and social and circular economy for the regional government. The gathering, in which Porras reported on plans to offer a leg-up for Balearic businesses, was also attended by members of the local business community.

Ferrer welcomed Porras’s visit, which both administrations and island business viewed as a chance to work out details and ensure on-the-ground compatibility of government assistance, with attendees taking the opportunity to review Spanish and Balearic decrees on terms of the €855m economic injection for crisis-hit companies in the region.

Porras highlighted newly expanded eligibility criteria that will bring assistance to an additional 10 companies and 26 freelancers on Formentera, expanding the regional tally of aid beneficiaries to 176 companies and more than 300 self-employed workers.

Porras described the help as purpose-oriented and urged all eligible candidates to apply, pointing out disbursements would not be based on order of application submission. “We want the process to be simple”, confided the director-general, saying applicants could even count on early payout. The application period is expected to start by late May or early June, and the first freelancers could receive assistance by the end of next month.

New aid from Consell
President Ferrer said the island’s government and business leaders would closely monitor the Govern’s current proposal and make sure aid from the Consell moving forward addressed any blind spots and was as inclusive as possible. One hundred applications have been received in response to the Consell’s package of €630,000 in assistance for crisis-hit freelancers and small businesses. Payments are due to be issued as early as next week. Ferrer concluded by calling for a new meeting to finalise proposals and modifications with employers’ groups.

7 May 2021
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

For smooth start to summer and islanders’ safety, Formentera keeps tier 1 rules and continues “slow” reopening

foto 2021 desescalada lenta AConsell de Formentera premiere Alejandra Ferrer was joined today in press conference by Josep Marí Ribas and Maria Antònia Font, the Balearic government’s mobility and housing minister and director-general of health and consumer affairs, respectively, to review new measures linked to the covid-19 public health crisis.

Ferrer described the island’s current epidemiological situation as “favourable”, highlighting “zero active cases and zero new infections in the last 14 days”. She pointed to a number of measures that would soon be relaxed as a result, but indicated de-escalation would be slow, “so the island can make it to summer in good stead. The priority is our residents’ welfare.”

Measures
With the island still in tier 1 of public health alert, the following restrictions will be in place for two weeks starting Sunday 9 May:
-Maximum six people (no limit on number of households) at outdoor get-togethers and family gatherings. Maximum six people from two households at indoor gatherings.
-Curfew from 11.00pm to 6.00am.
-Normal capacity at shops provided safe distancing measures can be respected. Closure by 10.00pm.

Another important change: eateries with outdoor seating are no longer required to close between 6.00pm and 8.00pm; these establishments can operate until 10.30pm. Rules are as follows:
-Indoor service must stop at 5.00pm on weekdays (Monday to Friday) and 6.00pm on weekends (Saturdays and Sundays).
-Outdoor service must stop at 10.30pm (Monday to Sunday).

Controls unchanged
President Ferrer also stressed the importance of controls on arriving travellers, which she said would continue for two more weeks and perhaps all summer if possible. Ferrer said current collaboration between the Consell, local business and the regional administration sought to offer competitively-priced PCR testing locally and she reiterated an earlier request that figures concerning infected visitors and residents be counted separately “so accumulated incidence isn’t impacted and protocol isn’t changed on account of visitors who have already left”. “And the Govern balear must work with individual island councils on a roadmap for measures, protocols and timelines that people and businesses will respect in summer”, she said.

On Formentera’s currently auspicious state of affairs, “It’s thanks to the responsibility of islanders and our businesses”, Ferrer said. She added, “We know people are tired, but they’ve continued to follow the rules”. The island's top-ranking official also called on islanders to answer vaccination calls with a “yes”: “It is crucial we all get immunised — for our safety and for the safety of those around us.”

For his part, the regional mobility and housing chief acknowledged improvements and Formentera’s praiseworthy case count of zero while insisting on a message of “prudence and prevention”. “We won’t be able to relax until the virus has been eradicated”, he said, and encouraged islanders to get vaccinated.

As for the director-general, “Formentera is the island with the best situation today”, she affirmed, citing data from the Health and Epidemiology Service of the Directorate General of Public Health and Participation. Two weeks have passed since Formentera’s last case was reported, meanwhile, Eivissa, Mallorca and Menorca wade through a weekslong crunch and report outbreaks of the more transmissible and now predominant British variant. As of 6 May, 3,071 vaccine doses have been administered, 2,320 islanders have received a single dose and 751 have received both doses.


7 May 2021
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

Seniors’ clubs of Sant Francesc and Sant Ferran reopen this weekend

foto 2021 clubs majorsThe Formentera Retirees’ and Pensioners’ Club (Club de Jubilats i Pensionistes de Formentera) in Sant Francesc and the Seniors’ Social Centre (Centre Social i de Majors) in Sant Ferran will reopen this weekend with complete safety protocol in place. For now, both clubs will open Saturdays and Sundays 4.00pm to 8.00pm.

Seniors’ clubs were among the first facilities to close even before emergency orders were first invoked last year as the pandemic gained force, and Consell de Formentera deputy premiere and chief of office of the eldery Ana Juan welcomed the fact the island’s elders would at last be enjoying their favourite club activities again. “It’s been an extremely difficult, complicated year for everyone, but above all for our seniors. Good news like this was overdue”, said Juan, who pointed out that most old people on the island are either already fully vaccinated or are waiting for their second dose.

Under tier 1 rules in place on Formentera today, senior centres can operate if they keep capacity at 50 per cent. Masks are mandatory at all times, except during the precise moment of eating or drinking, and group activities, restricted to 10 people indoors and 15 people out, respecting an extended safe distance of two metres. Clubs will additionally be equipped with CO2 measuring devices.

Upkeep and upgrades during pandemic
Island services and the department of elderly affairs took advantage of clubs' months-long closure to commission painting, maintenance and repairs. The Sant Ferran centre got a fresh coat of paint inside, along with an upgraded electrical installation and a new awning and upholstery. Interior areas were painted and the kitchen expanded at the Sant Francesc club, with additional minor work in the toilets and new wooden wall hangers. La Mola’s Casa del Poble has been open for the elderly for a few weeks now. For the time being, the Es Cap centre remains closed.


7 May 2021
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

Formentera echoes support for ‘WeDemandTransEquality’ hashtag

foto 2021 exigim trans AEarlier today Consell de Formentera equality and LGBTIQ+ chief Vanessa Parellada attended a gathering to mark the trans flag’s arrival at regional parliament. The flag is currently travelling across the autonomous regions of Spain as part of #ExigimosLaIgualdadTrans (‘WeDemandTransEquality’). The Spanish Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Trans and Bisexuals (FELGTB), Triangle Foundation and Chrysallis initiative enjoys support in the Balearics from local and regional groups like Bens Amics and Sa Clau de s’Armari. Senior regional government officials joined members of the LGTBIQ+ community for the event and flag signing.

A trans flag has similarly been hung from the Casa Consistorial in a show of support by Formentera’s government. The Consell de Formentera joined the campaign when it launched last April. Councillor Parellada underscored the local administration’s historic support for awareness around sexual and gender diversity.

From April to June, the flag’s cross-country march will be punctuated by receptions and rallies aimed at building visibility and mobilising for trans equality before the law.

#ExigimosLaIgualdadTran highlights the need for nationwide recognition of rights like the right to determine one’s gender without being subjected to requirements of third-party endorsement. With popular support, and the backing of regional and local authorities, organisers hope to overcome the impasse around talks for national legislation to guarantee legal equality for trans people.


6 May 2021
Communications Department
Council of Formentera

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