MAKING SURE YOU STAY AT HOME and abiding by the government-mandated requirement to self-isolate is vital for the rapid recovery of the local and national economy.
We all have our part to play, and the only way we will see a return to the Spanish way of life that we love, is to stay at home and avoid any non-essential travel.
The extraordinary safety measures intended to stop the spread of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infection are important for all of us, and we must fulfil our responsibilities to self-isolate.
If we fail, we could face an extended period of isolation and that will undoubtedly prove catastrophic for many of the local businesses – in particular the shops, bars, and restaurants that we enjoy and rely on to provide us with essential everyday services.
Of course, we will all need to venture out for a multitude of reasons over the forthcoming days, so we all must know when we are allowed to leave our homes, and for what purposes.
We must have a lawful and essential reason to leave our homes
Right now, residents and visitors to the Orihuela Costa may leave their home for the following essential purposes only:
- To go to work, or to return to their habitual place of residence
- To go to a supermarket to purchase food, beverages, and personal care products
- To go to an optician or to visit an orthopaedic doctor
- To go to a pharmacy to purchase or collect medication
- To attend a hospital, health centre or doctors surgery
- To visit an insurance broker, a bank, or to use an ATM
- To care for elderly or dependent persons or those with limited mobility
- To walk or exercise a pet, to buy food for a pet, or to visit a vets surgery
Dogs can be walked without prohibition but must be walked individually (on your own), and respecting the one-metre safe distance from other pet owners.
Visits to tobacconists and dry cleaners are allowable (the latter for sanitary reasons).
Stay at home, but if you absolutely must go out, go alone
Be aware that some public spaces such as supermarkets have introduced new public safety measures mandating the application of hand sanitiser before entering the premises, the use of plastic gloves whilst shopping, and sustaining a sufficient safe space between you and other patrons.
Keep an eye on areas around the entrance before entering the premises and follow instructions given by members of staff. Maintain your distance at all times, especially if you have to queue at the checkout.
If you need to go shopping, to the bank, or anywhere else, go alone. Don´t go as a couple, or as a family, or with friends, unless it is essential that others go with you.
For instance, you may wish to help an elderly relative attend an appointment at the health centre if they suffer from personal mobility issues or they can´t drive, but if you are unable to demonstrate an essential purpose for your presence you should not be there.
Providing companionship is not a lawful reason to avoid a government-mandated requirement to self-isolate and stay at home, and those travelling with others without an essential reason could face heavy fines.
For reasons of public safety, unnecessary travel is not permitted
If in any doubt stay at home and continue to self-isolate. Avoid crowds at all costs, and maintain a distance of at least one metre from other people at all times if you do need to venture outside.
Remember that unnecessary travel such as visiting neighbours, family or friends, jogging, taking part in any form of exercise or sport within a public place, or riding a bicycle purely for recreational purposes, is strictly prohibited whilst the State of Emergency remains in force. Those found violating public safety measures face the possibility of serious consequences.
On a lighter note, Browns Cocktail and Gastro Bar in La Zenia are offering a special menu with free delivery from 4:00 pm until 10:00 pm every day in the Orihuela Costa area. You can find the current menu on their Facebook page and place your order via Facebook Messenger or call them on +34 966 393 699.
Meantime, if you or someone you know thinks they have any symptoms of coronavirus infection or any flu-like symptoms whatsoever, do not go to a medical centre, a doctors surgery, or a hospital. Instead, call +34 900 300 555 for assistance.
Editorial note: The coronavirus pandemic is a very fast-moving situation and whilst this content and data were checked for accuracy at the time of publication (Tuesday 17th March 2020 at 4:20 pm), the data and the situation are constantly evolving. For the latest information please refer to our Facebook page, join our Facebook community group.
Photo credit: La Zenia