Ibiza hires detectives to infiltrate home parties as Covid cases surge

Illicit gatherings involve tourists, residents and seasonal workers, creating a breeding ground for virus

Jon Sharman
Wednesday 04 August 2021 09:48
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Authorities in Ibiza plan to recruit private detectives to infiltrate illegal parties in people’s homes that act as breeding grounds for Covid-19.

Mariano Juan, the island’s vice-president, said the illicit gatherings had become a major public health problem and that the new scheme to combat them would be in place this summer.

He told Periodico de Ibiza: “Illegal parties are not just a public order problem, which has always been the case, but they now present an obvious health risk.

“It is not only tourists – Ibiza residents and seasonal workers have been found at these parties, who go on to mix with the rest of the population and could create problems if they are contagious.”

Mr Juan was speaking after the Ibiza government announced it would back up town halls’ attempts to prevent illegal gatherings in private homes, which it said often took place after legitimate bars and clubs closed for the night.

However, police lack clear powers to enter people’s homes and end events, even though officials now argue that those locations have ceased to be residences at the time of the parties, and should lose protections attached to that status.

For now, the plan is to identify and disrupt illegal parties before they begin using detectives from abroad.

“We will do whatever is necessary to end the feeling of impunity” that currently pervades the island, Mr Juan said in an official statement last week.

In his interview with Periodico de Ibiza, he added: “We have already spoken with a company that could do this, and which is now studying the detail.”

Last month, the Balearic islands – Ibiza, Mallorca, Menorca and Formentera – were moved onto the UK’s amber travel list due to rising coronavirus infections.

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