Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said that there would be a return to the new normal by the end of June... but no one is too sure what the “new normal” means. The most pressing question for the majority of businesses is when will it be safe for tourists to start returning to the islands.
Balearic President Francina Armengol has said that the airport and the ports “will be the last thing to open.” There are plenty of mixed messages. German tourists had initially been advised not to travel abroad this summer but a government announcement said that they would be allowed to travel from next month. No-one is too sure when hotels will be allowed to open, either, and with what safety measures in place.
Some business people I have spoken to claim that this holiday season is simply not going to happen. This is a far cry from what was being said five weeks ago; most people thought that we would be in a two week lockdown and then normal life (and that is the old normal life) would start again.
My view is that we will have a limited holiday season this year with a small number of tourists staying at hotels which have been especially adapted and going to beaches where social distancing is in place. This will be the new normal, I am afraid to say. Hoteliers are going to have a tough time trying to adapt their businesses to the new requirements; the buffet has already gone and social distancing in swimming pools and dining rooms will be no easy task.