A Coronavirus Travel Update on the Balearic Islands
LAST UPDATED: 10 DECEMBER
The self-isolation period for people returning from countries not on the travel corridor has been cut from 14 days to 10 days. This can be cut further as part of the test to release scheme. Under the scheme you can choose to pay for a private COVID-19 test. The earliest you can take the test is 5 full days after you left a destination not on the travel corridor list. If the result is negative, you can stop self-isolating.
What do you mean, where are the Balearic Islands? They’re right where we left them: in the Mediterranean off the coast of the Iberian Peninsula.
Regardless of what you call these islands, one question is surely on your lips: When can I visit them?! There’s some great news on the travel front: the Balearic Islands are now allowing British tourists again, as Spain has officially entered the ‘new normality’.
However, before booking any flights to the Balearic Islands, it’s important to note that the UK government once again recommends that you don’t travel to Spain (and this includes the Balearics) unless absolutely necessary - and even then, once you return back to the UK after your trip, you will have to self-isolate for 10 days, or 5 days if you pay for a test as part of the governments test to release scheme and return a negative result. It looks like it’s best to hold off on booking your holiday for the time being… but we’ve got our fingers crossed that Spain and the Baleaics will return to the list of government-approved travel corridors soon!
Where Are the Balearic Islands in Terms of Reopening?
Like the rest of Spain, the Balearics were subject to the country’s four-phase plan, announced by Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez at the end of April, to return the country to normalcy following the coronavirus outbreak. The Spanish government outlined a gradual reopening of the country, whereby lockdown restrictions could be eased phase by phase, at intervals of about two weeks, depending on how the situation played out.
The plan is a good plan: it proceeds in an orderly manner, it takes feedback on board as it progresses, it divides the country into regions based on the local severity of the pandemic and it is underpinned by a scientific evaluation of conditions in specific areas: “an epidemiological ranking based on four parameters (cases, deaths, hospital admissions and critical care unit occupation)”.
Essentially, it’s kind of like school: you can’t proceed to phase 1 until you’ve passed phase 0; you don’t go on to phase 2 until you’ve graduated from phase 1; no phase 3 for you until you can show your diploma from phase 2. And when you pass phase 3 – well, that’s champagne time, because it means that you, as a region, have achieved ‘normalisation’
Shall we open the champagne now?
We’re considering breaking out the champagne a little early, because the Balearic Islands have graduated to phase 3 right on schedule, on 8 June! And this is joyous news for the people who live there. (And thus for you too, would-be foreign traveller, because what’s good for the locals is eventually going to be good for you.)
Phase 3 has so many perks that phases 0, 1 and 2 did not have! If you’re a Balearic Islander, you can now move freely within your entire territory. Local residents can expect more freedoms as well: all shops will be open at 50% capacity and capacity restrictions will further reduce for bars and restaurants. A new outfit and drinks out at a bar? What more could you want! If you answered that you’d love to dance the night away, we’re sorry to report discos and nightclubs are still not open just yet - but give it time!
A recap of phase 1 and 2 freedoms
Since phase 2 kicked off, you’ve been able to eat out again with table service, visit places of worship and go to cinemas and theatres. These establishments must, however, run at limited capacity for the time being.
Households with two working parents can leave their kids at an educational centre while they are at work, and attending wakes and weddings is on the table once again (with a limited number of people). Cultural events are also open now, although there must be fewer than 80 attendees in enclosed spaces and fewer than 800 in outdoor spaces.
Oh, and perhaps the best news? Beaches are open for business once again! Beachgoers must make sure they maintain appropriate social distancing rules - which is a small price to pay for some fun in the sun, if you ask us.
All of this is on top of the reinstated freedoms that came with phase 1, which kicked off on 25 May. This included being able to leave your house (only at specified times, but with a generous schedule) to enjoy things everybody took for granted before the coronavirus outbreak. For example, shopping for anything you want at smaller establishments, including outdoor markets, as long as social distancing regulations are observed.
Other luxuries have been allowed since then as well, like dining at a sidewalk café or a restaurant terrace as long as they are operating at 75% capacity. Partaking of hand sanitiser at the entrance, you proceed to your table, where a masked server doesn’t hand you a physical menu – the information about the delicacies on offer is digitised.
Phase 1 saw gatherings with other people allowed again – up to 10 of you at a time – either outdoors or in somebody’s home, provided you kept your social distance. Phase 2 kicked this number up to 15 and now, in phase 3, this number has been raised yet again to 20.
Since phase 1, you’ve been allowed to stay at a hotel, which is nice, because you’re probably heartily sick of your own home after all that time on lockdown. Common areas are open once more and are operating at 50% capacity.
Now that Spain is no longer in a state of emergency, Balearic Islanders can travel freely around all regions of the country, although essential travel is still encouraged.
Three phases and you’re out
Some of Spain is already in the fourth and final phase - the new normalcy you’ve been hearing oh so much about - and the Balearic Islands are expected to enter this phase soon as well. We’re very excited for them!
What You Need to Know if You’re Planning a Trip to Ibiza,
Majorca or Any of the Other Balearic Islands
We’re pleased to announce that it looks like travel is up and running on both sides - Spain and the Balearic Islands are welcoming tourists and the British government has officially announced that nonessential travel to Spain is allowed once more. Looks like it’s time for you to book a well-deserved island escape!
When Will the Balearics be Open for Tourist Business?
The Balearic Islands are pleased to report they’re open for international tourist business again right now (most importantly to us Brits, but also to the majority of the EU and the Schengen zone) - and it goes without saying we’re loving this news. Just look at this gorgeous beach in Majorca and this one in Ibiza.
Looks like you’ll be partying in Ibiza or lounging on a beach in Majorca before you know it!
However, we’ve got to keep our fingers crossed that coronavirus cases in the Balearics continue to drop - health chiefs there warn that if there’s a big outbreak after reopening borders, holidaymakers may be turned away from these sunny islands yet again. We guess we’ll just have to see what happens - and hope that these initial tourists keep social distancing and maintaining proper hygiene (please, tourists, we beg of you!).
Keep a Stiff Upper Lip
Ibiza and the other Balearic Islands hosted 13.6 million tourists in 2019, and more than one-third of them were British. So yeah, we’ll be back, and the Balearics already want us back.
While you’re waiting, keep in touch with our blog for updates, encouragement and amusement.