Ibiza will reopen outdoor areas soon

Like many other parts of the world, Ibiza is slowly – but surely – returning to normal. In fact, the Spanish island is planning to reopen bars and restaurants next month. However, only outdoor areas will be opened on March 2nd. The indoor areas will open on March 16th, if the establishment has a CO2 meter installed and COVID-19 cases continue to trend downward.

Those measures are part of the de-escalation plan of the Balearic government, published by the news outlet The Olive Press on February 18th. After months of lockdown in Ibiza, you would think businesses received this news with relief – but not that much. The Confederation of Business Associations in the Balearics declared that the de-escalation timeline is “unsatisfactory”. The reason behind this claim is that only 20% of bars and restaurants in Mallorca have outdoor areas.

Nonetheless, having people back in bars will certainly have benefits for the economy. As a matter of fact, tourism represents more than 80% of the economy in Ibiza and nightclubs are a big part of it, as edmtunes reports.

You can read more about the announcement via The Olive Press.

In October last year, it was announced that the Ibiza government has plans for rapid COVID-19 testing systems to open a tourist corridor in 2021. As reported by Nou Diari, the agreed protocol with the relative governing bodies, announced by Moroto, explains that every tourist arriving in the Balaeric or Canary Islands from another country, with an AI (infection rate) of 50 or less per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days, will not undergo testing on arrival. Tourists who come from countries with an AI greater than 50 will have to present a negative test carried out less than 48 hours before the flight.

The world’s best-known party island, Ibiza has been heavily impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Frequent restriction changes, extortionate fines and bans on dancing, parties and smoking have affected the music and hospitality industries hugely. But while it’s hit locals hard, the pause in summer season has also given time for a reset and for the White Isle to regenerate. In a recent feature for DJ Mag, Anu Shukla travelled to Ibiza to investigate.

Dutch government plans to allow festivals from July

Good news! This summer festival season has been blighted the world over for one very obvious reason, but The Netherlands has just offered the latest glimmer of hope after stating that they aim to get shows back on the road after July 1st.

Last month, the Dutch government announced a cancellation fund of more than €300million in order to allow event organizers to reschedule shows panned before July 1st to the second half of the year, with security that they will be covered if the pandemic stops events going ahead any time after that date.

One festival, Liquicity, which is due to take place from the 16th to the 18th July, posted a statement to their website, explaining that the Dutch government had confirmed festivals should be able to go ahead in the country from the 1st July.

“Great news: the Dutch government has announced that they aim to allow festivals after July 1,” the statement from Liquicity said. “In case of festivals still get canceled due to changing COVID circumstances, organizers are likely to be compensated for the costs. Festivals in The Netherlands are currently selling out in record pace due to this new government announcement.”

Liquicity also promised full refunds if the event should end up being canceled — “in case of festivals still get canceled due to changing COVID circumstances, organizers are likely to be compensated for the costs” — and another festival, Lowlands, has announced that two trial events will take place later this year, with 3000 participants expected to present negative COVID-19 tests on entry.

Dutch festivals that usually take place in the spring or early summer such as Awakenings and DGTL have revealed they are rescheduling to autumn in order to be covered by the cancellation fund.

Awakenings Festival will now take place across September 11 and 12, and tickets are already sold out. Its website notes: “The COVID-19 pandemic is still not over, but things are starting to look a bit brighter, so we now aim for the second weekend of September.”

Berlin clubbing won’t be back to normal until 2022

The Berlin Club Commission expects it will take nearly two more years for the city’s nightlife to return back to its pre-pandemic state, as Mixmag reports.

Pamela Schobeß, chairwoman of the nightlife umbrella organisation who also runs the club Gretchen made this prediction. She said to rbb24: “We are the first to be closed and the last to be allowed to reopen.”

Schobeß noted that events planned for March 2021 have already been postponed for a year, and called on the local and state governments to continue financially supporting the sector when the country prepares to ease restrictions, saying: “It cannot go from zero to one hundred.” Government support is currently secured until June this year.

RA spoke to a representative who agreed “2021 does not really promise to be any better than the past 2020,” adding: “What we know and appreciate as a club culture depends on intensity, closeness, contact, intoxicating nights, sharing, and exchange. As long as there is a risk of exponential infection and people die from COVID-19 every day, a return to the dance floor is not to be expected.

Covid may cause sudden and permanent hearing loss

Covid-19 may cause sudden and permanent hearing loss, experts have found, adding that such problems need early detection and urgent treatment.

The coronavirus has been found to affect the body in myriad ways, from a loss of taste and smell to organ damage.

Now doctors have reported fresh evidence that Covid could also affect hearing.

Writing in the journal BMJ Case Reports, experts at University College London report the case of a 45-year-old man with asthma who was admitted to intensive care with Covid, ventilated, and given drugs including the antiviral remdesivir and intravenous steroids.

A week after leaving intensive care he developed a ringing sound – tinnitus – and then hearing loss in his left ear.

The team say none of the medications the man was given would be expected to cause damage to his hearing, while he had no problems with his ear canals or ear drums. Further investigation showed no sign of autoimmune problems, while he did not have flu or HIV – conditions previously linked to hearing loss. What’s more, the man had never had hearing problems before.

Subsequent tests revealed the man had sensorineural hearing loss in his left ear – a situation where the inner ear or the nerve responsible for sound is inflamed or damaged. This was treated with steroids with partial success.