Mallorca. Saturday March 20. It’s raining! It was raining yesterday!
The weather report says it might rain tomorrow! I hope it does! Apart from the rain being good for the garden and necessary to fill and maintain our reservoirs, I am currently feeling uncharitable; mainly because as part of an island community, along with approximately 941,0000 others, I have endured over 12 months of carefully choreographed Covid-care protocol, aimed at keeping our beautiful island safe.
And I am disappointed with the recent influx of German tourists to our island! A cavalier minority of ‘couldn’t care less’ individuals have consistently stuck two fingers up at any restrictive programming ostensibly designed to keep our island citizens safe, whilst moving forward to bring the entire world back to a NORMAL existence!
Yet the majority of upbeat Mallorcan citizens, local or otherwise, have been horrified at the current German invasion of ‘sun seeking’ tourists whose main aim in life is to simply escape their own lockdown inconvenience and lie blissfully on a beach somewhere, totally oblivious and unconcerned over the potential consequences which their freedom flight pilgrimage could unleash.
I fully understand that everyone on the entire planet is looking for a way out, an escape, a quick-fix release from the constrictions of life under Covid.
We all yearn for a swift return to normality, a chance to welcome and embrace the blueprint of our previous lives. But we need to achieve it with a safe footprint, not a pushy, self indulgent thrust from outsiders, who the system has allowed to target Mallorca as a safe and sudden tourist destination, without thought or sensitivity for the island’s welfare or residents.
Yes! The regulation to enter Mallorca was unbelievably sanctioned. Yet despite the German government’s insistence which stressed that only necessary and essential travel was recommended, thousands of German tourists suddenly booked flights, and took it upon themselves to flock to Mallorca on a jolly.
Yes! Technically their actions are legal. But morally, it’s very questionable. Where is the concern and consideration for the future of Mallorca and its local inhabitants? Is a potential week of reclining idly on a beach, really worth the risk of fuelling the pandemic with the movement of people from one country to another?
Apparently yes! And if this is a direct stab by the Mallorcan tourism lobby at giving the economy a premature kick-start, then it is miss-timed, inappropriate and insensitive! The Mallorcans are quite capable themselves of driving numbers up without help from outsiders!
Within Spain, residents are not currently allowed to travel from region to region in order to visit their own family and loved ones, so the idea of introducing free traveling foreigners into the mix is an outrageous, miss-judged oversight, and a great cause for concern.
Personally, I have nothing against German tourists, or any other tourists come to that.
And as a community invariably dependant on tourism, the economy needs the import of holidaymakers directed towards our sunny shores.
But what we don’t need is an invasion of sun seekers putting their own hedonistic needs before our own island’s programme of getting things safely, and slowly back to a workable norm!
The vast majority of Mallorcan residents haven’t even had the faintest whiff of a vaccine, yet we are expected to welcome an onslaught of unvaccinated visitors from a country where there is a present, exponential surge of the virus, and contagion is higher than our own infection rate and rising alarmingly.
Where is the concern driven by common courtesy? Where is the respect for our island?
Vicenç Vidal of Més - a senator representing the Balearics has advised the national minister of health, Carolina Darias, “not to play with the lives and health of the citizens of the Balearics,” by allowing this travesty of freely traveling visitors to our island. But it’s all going ahead nevertheless!
Without the safety net of a much needed vaccine roll out, there is a feeling that the island’s population is being held to ransom for financial gain.
Hotels accommodating the invasion have washed their hands of enforcing any form of safety protocol within their establishments, by way of monitoring, instructing or preventing the mixing and mingling of clients from different households, by simply asking guest to sign a ‘responsible declaration’, which in effect translates as letting the tourists do exactly as they want once they have signed their certificate of compliance.
I rather hope the German tourists will be very respectful in their behaviour whilst guests on our island. But judging from the recent video footage I have already seen of arrivals at Palma airport, there is already clear evidence that masks won’t always be worn and mixing/ distancing might be ignored together with general disregard.
This might sound like a harsh attack on the foreign tourists in question. But just pause for a moment and imagine if the German government shut down the exciting, lively, vivacious, cultural capital of Berlin to all German citizens, yet allowed overseas visitors to freely visit and wander!
How do you think the majority of Deutschlanders would feel about that? Perhaps it’s a question the current German tourists should have asked themselves before they packed the Ambre Soleil?
We definitely need tourism to pick up again for a structured summer season, and will happily welcome all tourists, German and otherwise, when we have more of a protective blanket around us. Meanwhile, it’s all just a bit too much, too quick, and far too soon.
You can’t really blame struggling tour companies for jumping on the band wagon of blatant opportunity and demand.
Or die hard tourists for wanting to throw caution to the wind and get away. But when Germany is telling its residents not to travel and stay home, even when they have a valid PCR certificate in their pocket, it seems uncaring and rather callous to ignore the advice and simply come anyway. Did they have even a moments thought about the possibility of contracting Covid in transit?
Concern has already been cited by FEHM President, Maria Frontera (Hotel Business Federation of Majorca) – “We are dealing with highly volatile scenarios, so it’s impossible to forecast what will happen in two weeks time!”
All I can say is if our summer season is locked down again this year before it has even started, then this influx might just be a contributing factor to the reason why!
Sunday, March 21. Today the sun is shining. I hope the German tourists have managed to place their fluffy towels on their much needed sunbeds, and are relaxed and delighting in the consequences of their gifted getaway! But I can’t speak for everyone!