A NEW RAFT OF COVID-19 safety measures designed to combat the spread of the coronavirus pandemic within the autonomous Valencian Community has been introduced today.
The exceptional legislative measures affect all areas of the Costa Blanca with immediate effect and are expected to remain in force until Wednesday 9th December.
The regional resolution comes amid recently growing rates of detected coronavirus infections, an increase in hospital admissions, and added pressure on intensive care units.
The restrictions were announced yesterday by the President of the Valencian Government, Ximo Puig, calling on the people of the Valencian Community to “rise to the challenge, and exercise extreme caution to help prevent recorded COVID-19 cases from continuing to increase.”
“We knew that this road was long and difficult and we are doing well, but now we must do even better. Let´s remember how we kept a safe distance in April: in a strict way. Today I ask that we return to those levels of caution”, said the President.
Whilst the Valencian Community maintains the lowest levels of detected coronavirus infections in the Spanish mainland with a 14-day crude cumulative incidence of 153.16 cases per 100,000 population, this figure has grown by almost 50% in 4 weeks.
The average number of estimated daily cases in the past 7-days stands at 880.84, almost double the 450.77 cases observed in the previous 7-day period throughout the Valencian Community.
The resolution published by the Valencian Government and authored by the Regional Minister for Public Health, Ana Barceló Chico, states that “almost a third of outbreaks occur in the social sphere, especially in meetings of family members and friends who are not living together.”
“Environments, where people speak loudly, sing, or do not use masks properly, are particularly affected, including activities such as eating or drinking where the continuous use of a mask is incompatible.”
The resolution confirms that the change in the age range of new coronavirus infections that occurred over the summer continues to hold.
COVID-19 safety measures aimed at restricting social activity at night
“The epidemic is mainly affecting young adults, with the most affected age group between 15 and 29 years old, with incidence rates of 215.2 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.”
“This rate is 34% higher than the 30 to 59 years old age group, and the difference increases to more than 50% when compared with those of 60-years and over.”
“To stop the high rate of infection within the Valencian Community, it is necessary to adopt measures aimed at restricting social activity at night and limiting social gatherings to six people” concludes the resolution.
Ana Barceló added, “The sole objective is to protect the health (6) of the entire population. We do not want to wait for a situation that leads us to act in a more burdensome way for citizens and the economy.”
The public safety measures including a nighttime curfew enter force today to supplement existing laws in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 throughout the Costa Blanca …
Nightly curfew in Costa Blanca, a bid to stop the spread of coronavirus
- A nightly curfew will apply to all roads and other public spaces between midnight and 6:00 am. Between these times, people must stay at home and cannot be in a public place without a lawful reason.
- The curfew will not apply to people going to, or returning from work, caring for dependents or vulnerable people, or in cases of emergency or for essential health reasons. Exemptions are provided for public service personnel.
- Social or family meetings are limited to a maximum number of 6 people, both in public and private spaces (including private homes), except in the case of those who reside together.
- Public gardens, parks, and other open-air spaces will close at 10:00 pm and reopen no earlier than 8:00 am.
- In bars, restaurants and other hospitality venues, eating and drinking is permitted only at the table, not at the bar. People may go to the bar only to place and collect their order.
- Bars and restaurants must close at midnight and cannot permit new customers after 11:00 pm.
- No more than 6 people may sit together at a table, either inside or outside any bar or restaurant. Customers are advised NOT to move bar or restaurant tables from their designated positions.
- The use of a face mask is mandatory at all times in bars and restaurants unless sat down to eat or drink. You must wear a mask to place your order, to use the public bathroom, and at any other time on the premises.
- The sale of alcohol in shops and other non-hospitality venues is prohibited between 10:00 pm and 8:00 am. This does not apply to bars, restaurants, or hotels.
- Drinking alcohol in public roads is prohibited 24-hours a day. This does not apply to bars or restaurants with a terrace incorporated into the street.
Looking for holiday ideas and inspiration? Find out more about our favourite recommended things to do on the Orihuela Costa this year, or join the La Zenia community Facebook group and find out what´s going on in the local area.
Photo credit: LaZenia.com.