The faithful line up to kiss the statue of Christ at La Sang in Palma.

The faithful line up to kiss the statue of Christ at La Sang in Palma. Archive photo.

19-03-2008Jaume Morey

The coronavirus crisis is already having a huge social and economical impact in the Balearic Islands and as the number of people diagnosed with Covid-19 virus increases, communities are looking for ways to stay healthy.

The Bishopric of Majorca has not taken any explicit precautionary measures, but is following the advice of the health authorities, whereas the Bishopric of Minorca has taken direct action.

Holy water has been removed from the entrance of the temples, the greeting of peace has been replaced with a slight tilt of the head and the faithful are no longer allowed to kiss religious statues.

Tourism and transport

The Tourism sector in the Balearics is reeling from a raft of cancellations and hoteliers have already accepted the fact that Easter will be a total washout.

Some hotels have even decided not to open until May because of the lack of tourist bookings and that in turn will affect employment in the Balearics.

The transport industry, car rental companies, product distributors, restaurants and trade sectors all say demand is very low and that they’ll have to cut back on staffing to stay afloat.

A slump in bookings in the German, Central European and Nordic markets in recent weeks has raised the stakes with some large hotel chains saying they’ve only received 36 bookings from Germany in the last few days, when they’ve usually received ten times that amount by this time of year.

The President of the FEBT transport company, Rafael Roig, said everyone needs to stay calm.

"You do not have to create alarm, but there is maximum business concern,” he said.

Bartomeu Servera, President of the Association of Distributors of Food, Beverages & Cleaning, says businesses will have to adjust to cope with the crisis.

"The situation is serious and we will have to act accordingly," he said.

Spread of coronavirus causing concern in the Baleric Islands.

University

The University of the Balearic Islands and Cort have decided to suspend the Conference on Active Ageing & Pain, which was scheduled to take place next Thursday, to avoid the risk of coronavirus infection and the Ministry of Health has advised cancelling all medical meetings and congresses that were to be held in the near future, so that Health Care personnel are available in case of need.

The Master in Health Services Management & Leadership face-to-face classes have been replaced by on-line training sessions and according to the UIB Director of International Promotion, Igor Prieto, three Erasmus students have decided to return from Italy and three others have requested information. More than 30 UIB students are studying in Italy, 23 are in the northern half of the country and 9 are in risk zones.

Students taking tests at the UIB this Saturday have been told they can wear masks if they want to.

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