Friday, December 04, 2020

Canary Islands limit meetings to 10 people and implement curfew on key Christmas dates

Felizes Fiestas

Curfew: The freedom of movement of people at night will be limited between 1:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. between December 23 and January 10

The Governing Council approved in its session of this Thursday, December 3, the agreement that establishes a set of specific measures for the celebration of the Christmas holidays in the Autonomous Community of the Canary Islands, which aims to contain the spread of the pandemic by the transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19.

The agreement establishes that the maximum number of people in social and family gatherings, in public or private spaces, closed or outdoors, will be limited to six people, except in the case that they are cohabitating, meaning those people who reside in the same address. Exceptionally, the agreement establishes a maximum number of 10 people to celebrate Christmas lunches and dinners on December 24, 25 and 31 and January 1 and 6, unless cohabitants. In all cases, children aged 0-6 years are excluded in the computation of these groups. The recommendation is that these meetings be made up of members who belong to the same coexistence group or do not exceed two groups of coexistence, in which special care must be taken with people in vulnerable situations.

The measures approved Thursday will be applicable the day after their publication in the Official Gazette of the Canary Islands (BOC) and until Sunday, January 10, without prejudice to other more restrictive measures that are in force or that could be adopted in certain islands, such as consequence of the epidemiological situation, which will be evaluated weekly by the General Directorate of Public Health of the Canary Islands Health Service and will be published on the website of the Covid Portal of the Canary Islands Government.

Nighttime curfew

Another measure of the agreement is the limitation of the freedom of movement of people at night, from 1:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. between December 23, 2020 and January 10, 2021, except for carrying out activities essential elements included in article 5 of Royal Decree 926/2020, of October 25, which declares the state of alarm to contain the spread of infections caused by SARS-CoV-2. On the nights of December 24 to 25 and from December 31 to January 1, the restriction hours start at 1.30 and last until 6.00.

These essential activities include the acquisition of medicines, health products and other essential goods; assistance to health centers, services and establishments; assistance to veterinary care centers for emergency reasons; the fulfillment of labor, professional, business, institutional or legal obligations; the return to the place of habitual residence after carrying out some of the activities indicated above, or the assistance and care of the elderly, minors, dependents, people with disabilities or especially vulnerable people, among others.

Specific measures

The agreement includes specific measures for the hotel and restaurant industry, such as the complete closure of establishments before midnight (except in the islands with greater restrictions due to their pandemic situation), the maximum occupancy per table of six people and the distance between chairs of adjoining tables of at least two meters.

Regarding large events, it is established that parties, festivals and other popular events that involve crowding of people or displacement of participants that cannot be controlled, such as parades in their classic format, parties and cotillions (dances), may not be held. Any other mass event will be subject to prior authorization.

Activities such as visiting the Nativity displays or the Three Kings may be organized, as long as there is a delimited space where access and capacity can be controlled, in order to guarantee the maintenance of the interpersonal safety distance, the use of a mask and the rest of general preventive measures. They should preferably be outdoors.

Religious celebrations

As for emblematic religious celebrations, such as the Misa del Gallo (Spanish for "Rooster's Mass", the Catholic Mass celebrated around midnight of Christmas Eve), they may be celebrated, taking into account respect for the schedules that limit freedom of movement (curfew). It is recommended to offer online or television services as an alternative, as well as to avoid singing and physical displays of devotion or tradition (kisses, contact with images, sculptures, etc.), replacing them with others that pose a lower health risk.

Greater use of public roads

In coordination with local entities, it is recommended to favor a greater use of the public thoroughfare in the open air so that there are more spaces available for the public, as well as for the realization of cultural events, activities for children or for hotels and restaurants. commerce, always respecting the provisions above in relation to the celebration of Christmas events with a high influx of public.

Establishments and shopping centers

Another recommendation of the agreement for the population is to organize purchases in advance to avoid large crowds in streets and shopping centers, in which compliance with the interpersonal safety distance and the use of a mask at all times and in all spaces, both in sales premises and in transit spaces and on shopping streets.

Social health care residences

The agreement also establishes that the Departments of Health and Social Rights will jointly establish the specific preventive measures in relation to the exit of residents from care homes during these dates.

In any case, it is recommended that when residents of residential social health centers make a longer outing for Christmas celebrations, they are restricted to a single address and maintaining a stable coexistence bubble. Upon readmission, a diagnostic test for active infection should be performed and the days after readmission, surveillance and prevention measures will be taken to the extreme.

Returning students and other residents

Both students and other Canarian residents who return to the islands are recommended to limit social interactions in the 10 days before the trip and take precautionary measures upon arrival.