IF YOU'RE PLANNING to visit this part of the South Costa Blanca, it's important to be aware of the latest public safety measures in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Orihuela Costa.
La Zenia, Cabo Roig, Villamartin and Playa Flamenca – whichever part of the area you choose to visit Orihuela Costa is statistically a very safe place to be.
But with requirements such as mandatory face masks and limits on social activity, understanding what the current rules are can be potentially daunting.
When is the use of a face mask mandatory in La Zenia?
Face masks must be worn at all times in public spaces. The law requires that all adults and children over 6 years old wear a mask on public roads or any other public outside space, on public transport (including private hire vehicles), or in any closed indoor space that is open to members of the public – whether or not the prescribed safe distance can be maintained.
There are exceptions to the law. You don´t need to wear a face mask in public in the following circumstances …
- On a beach or around a swimming pool, including community and residential pools.
- In open countryside, natural or open spaces located outside of populated areas.
- While taking part in strenuous physical or recreational sports activity.
- When sitting at a table in a bar, on a terrace, or in a restaurant to consume food or drink.
- If you have documented respiratory conditions which are aggravated by wearing a mask.
Unlike some other countries, Spanish law requires that you wear a face mask – not a face covering. The mask should cover the nose, the mouth, and the area of the face below the chin.
Masks can be of any type – fashion, homemade, cloth or fabric, professional-grade surgical masks, or N95-rated particulate-filtering medical respirators. However, masks with an exhalation valve usually used within the building and construction industry are prohibited.
Face masks are widely available for sale at pharmacies or local supermarkets such as Carrefour, Mercadona, and SuperValu.
COVID-19 in Orihuela Costa, new safety measures introduced
Just this past Thursday, the Valencian Government confirmed that social settings continue to be the most prevalent cause of Coronavirus infection, with 67% of all recorded outbreaks taking place in a social environment.
Additional measures were introduced by the Valencian Government to curb the spread of the virus through social channels on Tuesday 18th August. The new measures are reviewed every three weeks and applied in addition to existing precautions.
The Minister of Universal Health and Public Health, Ana Barceló, announced that the additional measures were to continue from Monday 28th September for an additional period of 21 days until Monday 19th October 2020.
- Smoking is prohibited in all public spaces unless smokers can maintain a safe distance of 2 metres from any other person. This prohibition includes other smokers or people who you might live with and applies to tobacco inhalation devices, including electronic cigarettes, e-cigarettes, and vaping equipment.
- Public social gatherings are limited to 10 people. In a restaurant or on a terrace, groups of up to 10 people sitting at a table must be separated from other groups by 1.5 metres.
- It is recommended that private social gatherings are limited to 10 people and that socialising with people you don´t live with should be limited where possible.
- Discotheques, dance halls, karaoke bars and nightclubs are not permitted to open to members of the public.
- Bars, restaurants and other social venues must not admit new customers after midnight and must close completely by 01:00 every day.
- Masks are mandatory for use by all occupants of any vehicle unless the occupants live together at the same residential address.
- Amateur public performance of music is prohibited. Professional musicians and registered artists may continue to perform subject to additional restrictions depending on the size of the venue and the anticipated number of attendees.
COVID-19 in Orihuela Costa, the latest situation in our area
Locally, the University Hospital of Torrevieja recorded 12 patient admissions with a positive COVID-19 diagnosis this week, and just one patient admitted to the hospital´s intensive care unit with a confirmed Coronavirus infection.
The latest figures for the opening week of October represent a decline of almost half the number of patients with Coronavirus, with an average of 25 infected patients admitted each week during the last weeks of September.
Torrevieja hospital has 200 private rooms and serves a local population of about 160,000 residents across eleven municipalities: Torrevieja, Los Montesinos, Benijófar, Rojales, San Miguel de Salinas, Pilar de la Horadada, Guardamar, Orihuela, Formentera del Segura and Rojales.
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