Firstly a big thank you to everyone who read, shared and sent me messages about my scribes from last week. It was read here, Ibiza, Mainland Spain, Canaries, UK, Ireland, Jersey, USA, France, Malta, Norway, Italy, Sweden, China, Australia, Turkey, Netherlands and Portugal. I read in this paper that Antonio Garamendi, the President of the CEOE Spanish Confederation of Business Organisations has called for a comprehensive assistance plan for tourism, an extension of ERTE until Easter next year, and efforts to be made to restore Spain’s image overseas as soon as possible.Garamendi emphasised that tackling the crisis facing the tourism industry is not just about ERTEs or credit from the government’s ICO Instituto de Crédito Oficial. “There has to be a comprehensive aid plan.”The CEOE is proposing measures to facilitate liquidity, boost demand and reduce operating costs. Liquidity, the confederation says, requires maintaining and even extending debt deferrals with the tax agency and social security and continuing with ICO credit guarantees. With regard to operating costs, ERTE should be maintained until there is a recovery in demand, while there should also be greater flexibility in negotiating rents. To boost demand, the CEOE wants to see a marketing campaign that will restore Spain’s image; health measures to generate confidence among tourists; the reestablishment of air connectivity; the facilitation of travel medical insurance for foreign tourists; and a reduction in the rate of IVA (VAT) as it applies to the tourism sector from ten per cent to seven per cent for the rest of this year and for 2021.
He must have read my column!
Taking a break from Tourism this week, I wanted to talk about education. Remember Friday the 14th of March? I’m sure most parents out there will as that was the last time our kids were in school. Normally at this time of year we’ll all be tearing our hair out as they’ve been off since mid June for the Summer holidays. This has now been six months and never has there been a more important time for children and their education here on the island. Naturally schools, teachers and parents are worried about what is to come. In fact the only ones who aren’t worrying are the kids themselves. The majority would prefer to get back, see their friends and to start learning again. We should take a look at Scotland as a perfect test case, they have been back for a month now and their experience offers lessons for us here in Mallorca as our children head back to classrooms.Firstly the job I’m in involves knowing as much about news as possible. Let’s face it the media love a negative but I for one haven’t seen any dramatic Covid 19 news about schools in Scotland. They’ve had lockdowns in different areas but the schools remain open. A school closure would be a massive story with schools in England and Wales also returning over this week and next week. So far so good and we should take comfort from that. I have a friend who has a prominent position in Scottish Education and was told the following for some regions last Monday;Grampian; Secondary school in Aberdeen closed for one day but reopened.Glasgow; South Glasgow closed for isolation and a number of primary schools had the the odd case but no closures.Paisley; A few school outbreaks no closures.Greenock; No closures.These are in the more built up areas where cases are always more prominent. There’s been the odd case but nothing major it seems to be all contained. As of last Monday pupils in Scotland will now have to wear face masks in school corridors and communal areas to reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission.The new rules, apply to all children over 12 and on school transport for primary pupils five and above. Experts say that while children and young people are six times less likely to suffer seriously from Covid-19 than older people, they can still spread the disease. Provisional data for last Tuesday showed 87.5% attendance at Scottish schools, compared with 93% for the 2018-19 school year, which is positive.Prof Russell Viner, president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, said “Sadly, over 5,000 children die every year in the UK. Some contract infections such as measles or are killed in road traffic accidents.We don’t stop them from going to school or getting in cars. We make them wear seat belts, we tell them not to play in the road and we vaccinate them.”A British Medical Journal study looked at 651 children with coronavirus in hospitals in England, Wales and Scotland.It covers two-thirds of all children’s admissions in the UK due to Covid-19 between January and July and confirms what is already known about the minimal effects of the virus on children. A “strikingly low” 1% of these 651 children and young people – six in total – had died in hospital with Covid-19 compared with 27% across all other age groups, the study found. 18% of the children needed intensive care.The six who had unfortunately died had had “profound” underlying health conditions that had often been complex and themselves life-limiting.Children with such conditions remain vulnerable to the virus and must take precautions, the researchers said. But for others, the risk was extremely low.”There have been no deaths in otherwise healthy school-age children,” said study author Prof Calum Semple, from the University of Liverpool.”There is no direct harm from children going back to school,” he added.Co-author Dr Olivia Swann, from the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, in Edinburgh, said she hoped the findings would be “extremely reassuring for parents across the UK”.I hope too for all parents over here. I support all the measures being put in place for the schools here, to some people it might seem too much but if it means we can turn to normality quicker I’m all for it. I want my kids to get back in school and not to miss out any more. This is not just about their education, it’s about their sociability, their mentality and their physicality. We will have to learn to live with this virus for the foreseeable future but what we can’t do is let it run our lives. Positivity is the way forward to get this thing beaten and I know that’s not easy for some but we must pull together like we did in the lockdown.
Take care everyone and enjoy your weekend! Richie presents the Radio One Mallorca Breakfast show Monday to Friday07.30-11.00am on 93.8fm in Mallorca and 102fm in Calvià, online at www.radioonemallorca.com on mobile through their free App for IPhone & Android, The Tunein Radio App, iTunes, the Spanish TDT TV service and all smart speakers. If you can’t hear him on the radio then you’ll find him working at Pirates Adventure the islands number one night out and every now and again he may make an understudy appearance! Follow him on Twitter @DadTaxi1 & Instagram @dad.taxi or feel free to email him at firstname.lastname@example.org