Ibizan officials are considering hiring undercover operatives to attend secret parties that break lockdown rules and snitch on the organisers to the authorities. Organisers of illegal parties – who are being blamed for an increase in positive Covid tests – face fines of up to €600,000 (£513,000). The Guardian has the story.
The idea comes as the island, where the renowned nightlife and music scene has long drawn tourists from around the world, seeks to tackle a two-week Covid incidence rate that has soared to 1,814 cases per 100,000 of the population. With most nightclubs shuttered – except for those able to hold outdoor events where patrons are seated at all times – and gatherings in restaurants and bars limited to small groups, officials have blamed illegal parties for the spike in cases.
They have responded with an array of restrictions, from a ban on mixed-household gatherings between 1am and 6am to fines of up to €600,000 (£513,000) for those who organise illegal parties.
Even so, the parties have not stopped. “They’re not only an issue related to public order, which they have always been, but now they pose an obvious risk to people’s health,” a local official, Mariano Juan, told the newspaper Diario de Ibiza. “Police themselves say it’s difficult for them to infiltrate, as they are known to locals. So we have to look outside for help.” …
Local officials are now in talks with a company that is studying how best to put together a team who can help police in detecting these parties, said Juan. “It is not easy as the profile we’re looking for are foreigners between 30 and 40 years old, but we have been working on it for two weeks.”
Nevertheless, he was confident that the initiative would advance quickly. “I have no doubt that it will be up and running this summer… It’s a necessity to safeguard the health situation in Ibiza.” …
The idea has… been heavily criticised by the Socialist party, which leads the regional administration covering Ibiza. A spokesperson, Vicent Torres, called on the island’s officials to put forth “serious proposals that have legal backing” rather than “acting irresponsibly by launching ideas that we cannot agree to”.
Worth reading in full.
Stop Press: “I absolutely love this story,” says Guardian reporter Robyn Vinter, apparently welcoming the idea of hiring tourists to spy on each other.