Much like many states in the US, Spain is starting to open up in phases. Generally, in Phase 3, nightclubs and bars can begin to re-open. Spain will open its borders up on June 21st, but even with this good news, the fate of clubs in Ibiza and Magaluf is up the air. The Balearic government is asking most bars and clubs to remain closed until a COVID-19 vaccine is found. This will affect the rest of 2020, and potentially 2021 too.
The reason for this decision is that it’s very hard to control mass crowds and implement the proper protocols to keep everyone safe. Of course, this a huge blow to tourism in these areas. Much of their economy relies on people flying in for the immense party scenes and beautiful beaches.
A Pilot Plan
Many club owners have come up with a plan to “pilot” an idea to be able to safely re-open and bring some life back to the island. This idea will be very specific in order to keep everyone safe. For one, capacity will be limited to 33%. They will prohibit dancing. Instead, tables and chairs are to be installed in the club to promote safe social distancing – a concept other countries have already started to adopt. An idea possibly invasive to some, customers will also have to leave their contact information, incase there is a need for contract tracing. They also are proposing bringing in specialist occupational risk companies to check out each venue. Customers will also have to wear masks.
Owners are proposing testing this out from June 21 (when the boards re-open) to July 1. If successful, they hope that they can increase capacity in the venues. Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez will review this proposal on Thursday. He will also give details on the country’s new tourism policy.
As of now, not all venues are affected. Smaller venues offering only music may be able to remain open, assuming that customers remain seated at all times. Reduced hours and strict security measures are also being enforced.
Amongst the decision of the Balearic Government shutting down clubs this season, Ushuaia Ibiza and Hi Ibiza have put out a notice alerting all patrons they will not be hosting any events this summer, upsetting many hopeful tourists. This is extremely detrimental to the music scene and the entire island as whole.
Unfortunately, with the need to keep COVID-19 spread to a minimum and all employees healthy, the risk factor to open clubs right now is too high – especially with all of the tourism coming in and out of the country.
While this summer seems to be a wash, I think we can all agree that better days are on the horizon. Cheers to Summer 2021, a COVID-19 vaccine, and endless days that will turn into nights dancing in the hot sun!