WHAT A DIFFERENCE A DAY MAKES Yesterday was a Friday 13th like no other in the history of Europe's southern-most peninsular, and nationwide, people across Spain are facing a raft of new public safety measures aimed at halting the transmission of coronavirus throughout the country.
For only the second time since 1978, the Spanish government under the leadership of President Pedro Sánchez has declared the highest state of emergency, introducing extraordinary measures intended to stop the spread of SARS-CoV-2 infection by limiting groups of people and encouraging residents to remain in their home.
The new rules are temporary, but they will affect visitors and people living in the Orihuela Costa community. So what's happened over the last 24 hours and how do the new public safety measures affect you?
Alicante province registers 36 positive CoVid-19 infections and the first death
Locally, the Alicante Province has diagnosed 57 people with a positive coronavirus infection, an increase of 31 over the previous 24 hours. Crucially, our home province also registered its first death.
As a precaution, the University Hospital in Torrevieja has brought in measures prohibiting patients from receiving visitors, and people attending the hospital or seeking treatment must do so unaccompanied.
Nationwide, Spain has 6,043 confirmed cases of patients that have tested positive for CoVid-19 coronavirus (an increase of 1,266 over 24 hours), and 191 people have tragically lost their lives to the disease. 517 people remain in hospital for treatment.
The vast majority of those with a positive coronavirus diagnosis are located in the Spanish capital city of Madrid or central Northern provinces such as Burgos and La Rioja, with an increased risk of the virus spreading to the northwestern autonomous community of Galicia.
State of Emergency: bars and restaurants closed in Orihuela Costa for 15 days
At 20:00 yesterday the Valencian government ordered the closure of leisure amenities throughout the province. Taking effect from midnight last night (Friday), the closures are aimed at halting the transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
The extraordinary measures affect all non-essential businesses across the local Orihuela Costa community and will remain in effect for 15 days until Sunday 29th March. Realistically, this means most businesses won't be operating normally until the following day, Monday 30th March.
The closures affect all commercial enterprises, including:
- Restaurants, bars and cafeterias
- Bakeries, hairdressers and florists
- Shops, shopping centres, retail outlets and all types of commerce
- Open-air shows and concerts, fairs, theme parks and amusement parks
- Gymnasiums, swimming pools and sports centres
- Theatres, concert halls and cinemas
- Libraries and museums
- Discos, ballrooms, nightclubs and pubs
- Casinos and bingo halls
Businesses that provide essential products and services required for everyday life are excluded from the temporary prohibition and may continue to open to the public: supermarkets, pharmacies, and petrol stations (for the sale of vehicle fuels only).
Coronavirus: beaches in Torrevieja and Orihuela Costa off-limits
In a statement issued by the mayor of Orihuela, Emilio Bascuñana, the beaches of the Orihuela Costa will remain closed from 07:00 this morning whilst the national State of Emergency measures remain in effect.
The prohibition includes parks and children's playgrounds, and signs have been installed on the beaches warning people to stay away from the beaches. The city hall of Torrevieja has introduced similar rules to prevent access to the beaches throughout the city.
Meantime, a dedicated line has been announced for the pandemic. If you or someone you know thinks they might have any symptoms of coronavirus infection or any flu-like symptoms whatsoever, do not go to a medical centre, a doctor's surgery, or a hospital. Instead, call +34 900 300 555 for assistance.
Looking for holiday ideas and travel inspiration? Find out more about our favourite recommended things to do on the Orihuela Costa or join the La Zenia community Facebook group and find out what's going on in the local area.
Photo credit: LaZenia.com