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Saturday, April 30, 2022

The Government extends the temporary suspension of COVID-19 restrictions

This extension will be in force until midnight on June 30, without prejudice to the possibility of further extension depending on the epidemiological situation.

The Governing Council of the Canary Islands held, Thursday, April 28, has approved extending the agreement by which the limiting measures that were in force on all the islands are temporarily suspended according to the level of health alert in which each was found.

The extension, which will be published in the Official Gazette of the Canary Islands, will be in force from 12:00 a.m. on May 1 until 12:00 p.m. on June 30, and will be conditional, on each island, on the absence of any significant change in the trend in the circulation of SARS-CoV-2 or a change in the epidemiological situation.

This agreement to extend the suspension of the limiting measures, in line with the actions adopted in the rest of the State and in neighbouring countries, is as a result of the expansion of vaccination program, in which the effects of the disease present milder manifestations while the evidence shows that the Omicron variants, present in our territory, are not causing greater severity, although they cause a high incidence of virus transmission.

This high incidence of transmission keeps the islands at the alert levels they are, without significantly increasing the impact on or the occupancy of conventional or ICU beds.

Surveillance and control structures will remain operational to monitor the key indicators that make it possible to detect changes in epidemiological patterns, the appearance of new variants or a greater impact on the healthcare system. In this way, if an unfavourable evolution is detected on any island, the reactivation of the restrictive measures established in Decree Law 11/2021 can be made for that territory.

Evolution of indicators in the last month

The latest report from the General Directorate of Public Health indicates that since the Government of the Canary Islands adopted, on March 24, the agreement that temporarily suspends the limiting measures for the protection of health and the prevention of the spread of COVID-19, the indicators for the use of health services have decreased, both in terms of occupancy of conventional beds and ICUs.

Thus, in relation to conventional beds, between March 24 and April 25, the percentage of conventional beds occupied by COVID-19 patients has decreased by 22%, the rate of new hospitalizations for COVID-19 by 23.2%.

In relation to the capacity of intensive care beds, between March 24 and April 25, the percentage of ICU beds occupied by COVID-19 patients has decreased by 57.1%, the rate of new hospitalizations in the ICU due to COVID -19, 45.5% and the occupancy rate of ICU beds per 100,000 inhabitants, 57%.

Measures suspended

Under the agreement adopted until June 30, all the measures contemplated in Decree 11/2021 remain in force, but stay temporarily suspended (i.e. these things are currently allowed without limitation), that is, those related to capacity, closing hours, limitation on the number of people allowed in meetings, the obligation to have prior authorization to hold mass events and the prohibition of holding popular festivals and open-air festivals. The prohibition of smoking and the sale and consumption of food or drinks on public roads are also suppressed. Finally, nightlife and sports and cultural activities will be able to continue to take place under the same conditions as they did before the start of the pandemic.

Prevention measures in force

However, the importance of maintaining current transmission prevention recommendations is highlighted, such as the use of masks in certain interior spaces, hand washing, ventilation and extreme care and prevention of transmission to the vulnerable.