THE PUBLIC SAFETY MEASURES benefit from further alleviation tomorrow, as residents on the Orihuela Costa will be allowed to venture out of their homes for the first time since the extraordinary confinement regulations were introduced. But if you're thinking about going out this weekend, there are some new rules you´ll need to be aware of.
As a nation, Spain is beginning to reap the benefits of one of the world's most stringent national quarantines. Rates of overall SARS-CoV-2 infection are falling, tens of thousands of people are recovering from the disease, and recorded deaths are consistently low with just 268 deaths yesterday – the lowest daily figure since 20th March.
The Government introduced new rules last Sunday that allowed 6.3 million Spanish children under the age of 14-years to leave the family home after 42 days of confinement, and on Tuesday President Pedro Sánchez announced a phased strategy to eradicate all extraordinary public safety measures introduced to combat the coronavirus pandemic by the end of June.
Dubbed “the Transition Towards a New Normal”, the Spanish nation will enter the initial phase this weekend, and from tomorrow (Saturday 2nd May) all adults will be able to go outside for a walk or to take part in individual exercise.
But with Germany experiencing an upward turn in newly diagnosed coronavirus cases and the United Kingdom recording more total deaths due to COVID-19 than Spain, authorities in the country are vehemently determined to ensure that relaxation of quarantine rules doesn't lead to an unnecessary increase in infection.
With this in mind, the Minister for Health, Salvador Illa has introduced a fixed timetable to avoid overcrowding and the associated risk of coronavirus transmission.
The timetable allocates parts of the day to different groups of people to ensure that society's most vulnerable groups are protected. The new rules replace the newly introduced guidelines for parents with children.
Going out, solo sports outside of the home
From tomorrow morning, individual adults aged 14-years to 69-years wishing to exercise in public outside of their homes may do so between 6:00 and 10:00 in the morning or in the evening from 20:00 to 23:00.
Sports activity includes running, cycling, or jogging, limited to the boundaries of your municipal area, and people going out must take part in their sport alone and maintain social distancing of two metres away from others.
People going out for a walk can do so with one other person from their residential household and must stay within 1 km of the family home. It is currently not permitted to take a pet with you, so you can´t use this time to walk your dog.
There are no time limits for walking or individual sports beyond the times specified on the timetable but are always limited to one outside activity per day per person (walking or sports, but not both on the same day).
Families with children can now only go out between the hours of 12:00 until 19:00 once a day (instead of 09:00 until 21:00 as previously announced). The other rules continue to apply: only one parent is allowed to go out with up to three children, a maximum of one kilometre away from the family home, and just once a day.
New activity rules in force until Monday 11th May
According to Salvador Illa, it will be vital to keep the over 70s and the vulnerable separate from younger people to minimise the risk of contagion, so those over the age of 70 will be allowed to go out either from 10:00 until noon or from 19:00 to 20:00 – accompanied by one person from their family home.
The new rules will remain in force until the beginning of Phase One of the de-escalation plan, currently scheduled for Monday 11th May. In all cases, daily outside activity must occur just once and must take place within your municipality of residence. Wearing a mask is also recommended and please remember that beach areas remain strictly off-limits.
These new rights are additional to your existing rights, so you don't need to use your right to walk or take part in sports to do other things you need to do, like essential shopping, or visiting the pharmacy to collect or purchase medication. Please bear in mind you cannot use your vehicle to travel to a place for the purpose of walking or to take part in sporting activity.
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
I am healthy but a wheelchair user. I have a 3pm hairdressing booking on Monday. Is this allowed?
Hi Julie, yes. Hairdressing salons and other businesses may offer appointments and you are permitted to leave your home to attend pre-booked appointments.
When we go for our walk tomorrow can we take the dogs with us.
Hi Susan, no, I´m afraid not. The existing rules for walking with pets will remain in force – as often as is necessary for your pet´s basic needs and welfare, and no further than 100 metres from your home. UPDATE: Pets may now go for a walk with you, now up to 1 km from your usual residential address.
We live in San miguel de salinas and have a static mobile home in albatera, can we travel to this home for essential maintenance etc.
Hi Stuart, right now, no that is not permissible. But you can employ the services of a professional tradesman to carry out repairs on your behalf if the property is unoccupied.
Hi, I’ve read that towns of up to 5000 inhabitants do not have to follow the new time allotments , is this correct and would the resort town of Mil Palmeras fall within this requirement ? Thank you .
Hi Noel, yes, it is correct that small municipalities do not need to follow the timetable. But Mil Palmeras is part of the Pilar de la Horadada municipality (with 23,403 registered residents), so please do use the timetable. On the South Costa Blanca, only the following communities do not have to follow the timetable: Benijofar, Daya Nueva, Daya Vieja, Formentera del Segura, Jacarilla, and Los Montesinos.
I live in Villamartin and there is some confusion of what our municipality is and therefore how far we can cycle. Could you define the area we are allowed to ride in please
Hi Jan, Villamartin lies within the Orihuela municipal area, therefore you are permitted to cycle anywhere within that municipality – from Punta Prima in the east, Campoamor in the west, all the way to Orihuela City itself in the north (that´s quite a long way).
Where can I find current restrictions for Orihuela costa/las Ramblas. Expect to go to our apartment September 15th.
Can we go to alcampo to buy food etc. ? Do we need face masks
Hi Jan, at the moment you are free to go wherever you want at any time. You MUST wear a face mask at all times in any public space (the road, bars, terraces, restaurants), except at times when you are eating, drinking, exercising, smoking, driving a vehicle alone or with a partner, or when you are on the beach. If you need specific information, please ask me, or join our Facebook group … https://www.facebook.com/groups/1591017691013159