President Armengol in parliament on Tuesday. | Jaume Morey


President Armengol said in parliament on Tuesday that she has "demanded" that the Spanish government authorises regional authorities to be able to order home confinement and earlier curfews if necessary. "We are insisting that the Spanish government is consistent. As it has placed management of the pandemic in the hands of regional governments, it should give us all the necessary tools to stop the virus. Having these tools means that we are given the ability to bring forward the curfew or even to apply home confinement."

Armengol insisted that her priority is to save lives and that she will adopt all measures to do this. "I will not stop making decisions that are necessary to protect the health of our citizens. It has been vital to reduce the pressure on our health service, to avoid intensive care units being overwhelmed, and to protect our health workers, who have experienced a year of relentless struggle."

The president said that she understood the harm that measures cause to the economy. For this reason, other Balearic demands have been made, such as direct aid from Madrid for sectors which have been affected.

She was hopeful that the situation will improve by the spring. The Balearics, she stated, are prepared to immunise the population in three months, if the necessary doses of the vaccine arrive. "As the immunisation of the most vulnerable and of our essential health workers progresses, mortality and severe cases will be reduced. Therefore, measures as tough as the current ones will not be necessary when transmission slows down and the risk of hospitals being overwhelmed is reduced."

Armengol highlighted the need for a "vaccination passport" to guarantee mobility by those who are protected against the virus. "It is important that we are immunised here" and it is also important that there is sufficient immunisation in countries which are the main tourism markets "in order to allow their people to travel".

She called for an adjustment to the vaccination programme in arguing that once the most vulnerable in Spain have been vaccinated, priority should he given to regions with high dependence on tourism. If this were to be the case, then mass vaccination in the Balearics would mean that the population is vaccinated within three months.