WEEKEND MOBILITY RESTRICTIONS introduced by the Valencian Government earlier this week come into force later today, meaning that large towns and cities throughout the Valencian Community will be subject to area confinement.
The new public health regulations apply to municipalities with more than 50,000 inhabitants, affecting the region of Orihuela (including Orihuela Costa) and the neighbouring city of Torrevieja in our locale.
Each municipality will be separately confined from 15:00 CET each Friday until 06:00 the following Monday. During these weekend times, from Friday afternoon until the early hours of Monday morning, crossing the municipal boundaries won't be permitted, except in specific allowable circumstances.
The regulations mean that people living in Orihuela Costa or Torrevieja cannot leave their municipalities. People living outside of those areas cannot enter the beachfront city or the Orihuela coastal areas during the period of confinement.
Police forces are expected to establish controls on the main entry and exit routes to the affected locations, including monitoring public transport services with inspections of passengers in transit at bus and train stations.
Mobility restrictions, understanding the boundaries of Orihuela Costa
With a population exceeding 77,000 people, residents of Orihuela and the Orihuela Costa region won't be permitted to leave the municipal area whilst the weekend mobility restrictions remain in force.
Orihuela Costa's northern-most coastal boundary is defined by Calle Escorpiones and Avenida de las Olas, the street that leads down to the beachfront and Restaurante Nautilus in Punta Prima.
The northern side of each avenue is within the territory of the Mediterranean city of Torrevieja, whilst properties to the south of the street are located within the municipality of Orihuela.
The southernmost territorial boundary of Orihuela Costa ends at Playa de Vistamar Mil Palmeras, with the Cañada Matamoros separating the coastal community from the neighbouring Pilar de La Horadada community and the main Playa de Mil Palmeras beach.
Geographically, Orihuela stretches almost 40 km inland northwest of the coast with the municipal boundary enclosing the city that lends its name to our locality.
Permitted movement and exemption from the new safety regulations
The legal exemptions to the prohibition to enter or leave locations subject to confinement are identical to those already permitted by the closure of the wider Valencian Community borders, and the new health regulations do not apply to people who are :
- Attending scheduled appointments in health centres or at a hospital
- Travelling for documented commerce or employment
- Returning to a usual habitual residence
- Travelling to the nearest petrol station to refuel a vehicle
- Taking part in educational activities for a school or university
- Caring for elderly or vulnerable people, children, or persons with limited mobility
- Going to the bank, an insurance company, or another financial institution
- Required to attend a public judicial appointment or notarial body
- Taking official exams or tests that cannot be postponed
- Acting due to an unavoidable emergency
I live in Torrevieja, can I go shopping at Zenia Boulevard on Saturday?
No, during the period of confinement only residents of Orihuela or Orihuela Costa can shop at Zenia Boulevard or travel within the Orihuela municipality.
I live in La Zenia, can I go shopping in Torrevieja on Sunday?
No, Torrevieja is subject to weekend confinement. Residents outside of the city cannot cross the boundary except for the legal exemptions listed above.
Orihuela Costa and Torrevieja weekend confinement
I don't live in either Torrevieja or the Orihuela region, can I go shopping at the Habaneras shopping centre?
Residents who live outside of Torrevieja and the Orihuela municipality can go shopping at Zenia Boulevard or the Habaneras centre from Monday until 15:00 on Friday, but not at the weekend.
The special public health measures also apply to bank holidays. In the event of a public holiday, the area restrictions will take effect at 15:00 on the day before the bank holiday and remain in effect for 48-hours until 15:00 the day after.
The new mobility restrictions apply to 15 locations in the Valencian Community, including Orihuela, Torrevieja, Elche, Benidorm, Alcoy, Elda, Petrer, San Vicente del Raspeig, and the city of Alicante in the Alicante Province.
The regulations are designed to further combat the spread of Coronavirus. They were introduced earlier this week on Monday 25th January by the President of the Generalitat, Ximo Puig, and are expected to remain in force until at least Monday 1st March 2021.
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