Monday, March 16, 2020

Irish tourists in Spain: GET OUT BY THURSDAY !

Tánaiste calls on Irish tourists in Spain - who want to fly home - to do so by midnight Thursday

The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney, has today held talks with his Spanish counterpart as well as the Chief Executives of Ryanair and Aer Lingus.

Following the talks Simon Coveney TD said, “I understand the deep concern about returning home from mainland Spain or the Canary and Balearic Islands in the coming days. We have been working closely with our colleagues in the Spanish government and have an orderly plan in place with Ryanair and Aer Lingus supported by the Spanish government.”

"My Spanish Foreign Affairs and Transport counterparts have assured me that Spanish airports remain open and the country is not bringing about a flight ban. They further assure me that Spanish airspace remains open for Irish airlines to bring citizens home. I reaffirmed Ireland’s solidarity with Spain at this difficult time and thanked their frontline authorities for dealing with this unprecedented challenge.”

The Tánaiste also held a conference call with senior management from Ryanair and Aer Lingus as well as senior officials from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Ireland’s Embassy in Madrid.
The Tánaiste said, “Following my discussions with Ryanair and Aer Lingus I am calling on all Irish tourists who wish to return from Spain to do so by midnight this coming Thursday March 19th. Both airlines are allocating bigger planes to the routes in order to accommodate passengers and both airlines have waved booking and seat fees for anyone who wants to change a booking from a later flight to one in the coming days.”
Key points
• The Spanish government has assured Ireland that airports and airspace remain open
• Irish airports and airspace remains open
• Both Ryanair and Aer Lingus have been in contact with customers via email and social media channels on how to book
• Customers should book or make changes to existing bookings directly with them
• We continue to advise Irish citizens to avoid all non-essential travel to Spain
• Spanish airports are asking passengers to travel to the airport in small groups and at their allotted time
• Do not travel to a Spanish airport unless you have a booking
• Anyone returning from Spain should follow HSE advice
• We look forward to resuming the close links between Ireland and Spain in the coming weeks
• Department of Foreign Affairs travel advice and contact information is available at


Saturday, March 14, 2020

Spain locks down from Monday 8am

Spain has put its inhabitants under lockdown from Monday morning 8am, March 16th 2020, as part of a 15-day state of emergency plan to combat the coronavirus.
The government declared that all Spaniards and those permanently resident in Spain must stay at home except to buy food, go to the pharmacy, to the hospital, visit banks, go to work or in emergencies, the decree issued on Saturday by Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and his ministers states. 
“Physical presence in commercial premises should be limited to what is strictly necessary,” Sanchez said, adding that crowds must be avoided, and consumers and employees must maintain a meter of distance between one another in order to avoid contagion. “I am also announcing that in order to ensure the supply of goods, the Health Ministry will be able to impose the necessary orders for the provision of the market,” Sanchez said. “The Health Ministry will be able to impose obligatory personal requisitions.” The prime minister added that the Spanish government would guarantee the supply of foodstuffs.
All bars, restaurants, conference centres and all leisure and sports activities - including cinemas, theatres, swimming pools or football grounds - will be shut down.
All retail activity is suspended apart from businesses selling foodstuffs, pharmacies, tobacconists, suppliers of IT equipment, newsstands, hairdressers and dry cleaners.
All public transport will be curtailed, with airline, train, bus, ferry and boat operators told they need to cut their services by at least half and that any plane, train, bus or other means of transport can only be a third full.
Employers will have the obligation to let their workers work remotely and judicial proceedings will be suspended.

Spain's Interior Ministry will control all police forces, including local and regional ones, under the 15-day emergency rule, which may be extended further.
The health and transport ministries will also have nationwide reach, taking over some local or regional powers.
Spanish prime minister Sanchez said the lockdown will begin on Monday at 8 a.m. (0700 GMT) while all other measures have entered into force as soon as the decree was published in the official journal. ''We will have the Armed Forces at our disposal – the Army is prepared for this.''
In an earlier move all cruise ships were banned from entering Spanish ports.

Note: All these measures will also apply in the Canary Islands.
Tourists will be allowed to return home  ...and if they stay they'll have to remain in their accommodation, too.

Wednesday, March 04, 2020

Carnival in Playa de Santiago 2020

Playa de Santiago will hold their annual carnival from tomorrow, March 5th 2020.
The main parade will be on Friday from 6:30 pm, followed by dancing to DJs and salsa bands all night...