Like all the events that took place in 2020, Toussaint Bridge is marked by the coronavirus pandemic. In the midst of the second wave of cases, the Autonomous Communities are seeking to stop crowds and infections, with a focus on cemeteries.
In a difficult year for many families, many will seek to honor their loved ones who have passed away. Some bishoprics ask for “caution” to comply with sanitary measures, by setting measures to avoid large concentrations of people.
It should be remembered that a visit to a cemetery is not part of the list of reasons considered as a valid reason to leave a closed area, but in Madrid, for example, it is possible to visit a cemetery located in one of the basic health zones with restrictions.
In other words, as a general rule, if you want to go to a cemetery on All Saints’ Day, you need to be in the same area, in addition to having to comply with a series of basic sanitary measures.
Next, we review the measures taken by the different Autonomous Communities to fight against the coronavirus in these places:
The community of Madrid
Despite the measures imposed in 35 basic health zones, sources from the Ministry of Health confirm to LaSexta that on the occasion of the All Saints’ Day, he will be authorized to visit the cemeteries of the Community of Madrid which is found in these areas.
Currently, you can only go to a graveyard in a restricted area to attend a funeral, which is a good cause.
In Madrid, the cemeteries dependent on the archdiocese (San Lorenzo, San Sebastián Mártir, San Isidro and San Justo) have adapted their schedules to facilitate the visit of the faithful. Likewise, on Sunday, November 1, Cardinal Archbishop Carlos Osoro will preside over a funeral mass for all the deceased in the chapel of the Almudena cemetery at 12 noon.
In Alcalá de Henares, the provisions given by the bishopric provide for Masses to be celebrated on the 1st for the deceased in municipal and ecclesiastical cemeteries, always respecting sanitary measures; and in Getafe, the bishop’s recommendations are: mask, social distance and reduced capacity.
Castile and Leon
In Ávila, there will be no community celebrations in cemeteries, on All Saints’ Day or on the Day of the Faithful, although whenever possible the bishopric encourages the celebration of the Eucharist for the deceased on November 2 in the parish temple. He also remembers that “more than ever, it is compulsory to wear a mask and to keep your distance”.
From the diocese of Segovia, they explain that most of the cemeteries are owned by municipalities and that they have no management authority, but “priests are available to pray there in accordance with the capacity regulations established by the municipalities “.
For its part, the City Council of Salamanca encourages the inhabitants of the city to take advantage of the previous days for visits and in addition the council will proceed to the reservation of parking spaces, limiting the capacity and with controls of the local police to entrance to cemeteries. . The maximum time will be one hour and three people for each funeral unit.
In Valladolid, on the 1st, as tradition dictates, Cardinal Archbishop Ricardo Blázquez will go to the Carmen cemetery to pray for the deceased and for the victims of the pandemic.
They will also pray for the memory of the deceased in the parishes of Soria where they will “faithfully” follow the indications of the Junta de Castilla y León, which has set up access controls in cemeteries, a reduction of capacity by half and delays.
In Gijón, the city council maintains visiting hours for cemeteries during the days of the deceased but will limit the influx of visitors and, although it does not establish a maximum length of stay in cemeteries, it recommends that it be as short as possible.
The Vicar General of the Diocese of Oviedo, Jorge Juan Fernández Sangrador, sent the priests a letter in which he established that the celebration of religious acts on the solemnity of All Saints’ Day will take place in churches and not in cemeteries.
In Vitoria, neither of its two cemeteries, neither El Salvador nor that of Santa Isabel, are of ecclesial property and their owner is the municipal council of Vitoria, so capacity control and measures correspond to the municipal government.
“On this occasion, the first that the diocese will experience on this feast under this pandemic situation, from the bishopric we appeal to live the memory of deceased parents with the caution that the health authorities mark and go to cemeteries in them. respecting at all times, “the Vicar General of the diocese, Carlos García Llata, told Europa Press, insisting on the” spacing “of the visits.
The diocese of Jaca, in Aragon, reminds the faithful that in these two festivals it is necessary to be “demanding” and “to comply with the published measures with rigorous caution”. For this they have established more time for Masses in which the capacity of 25% cannot be exceeded and it is recommended that the celebrations take place abroad.
In Valence, the General Cemetery offers since last Sunday, October 25 and until November 8, masses every day, so that the faithful come in a staggered way. The cemetery chapel will host mass at 11 a.m., according to chaplain Benjamín Zorrilla. On November 1, the Eucharist at 1 p.m. will be presided over by the Cardinal Archbishop of Valencia, Antonio Cañizares, for priests who died last year.
The Council extended the opening hours of the cemeteries until November 2: from 8 am to 7 pm The reception capacity is also reduced, in some cases with the need to request an appointment to go. at the cemetery, and cities like Seville have decided that groups cannot exceed four people.
In Malaga and more precisely in Manilva, the parish cemetery is the most frequented, according to the diocese to Europa Press. Its parish priest, José Antonio Melgar, explains that he “coordinated the entire protocol with the mayor”. “It will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., with a capacity of 40 people, controlled by civil protection personnel and taking great care in cleaning and disinfection”, he indicates.
The novelty is that this year in the cemeteries there will be no responsibility for those who rest there, to avoid the crowds. “Our intention is that they can come and visit their deceased without any risk”, specifies the priest. For his part, Juan Francisco Cardaldas, pastor in Torre del Mar, explains that “the reception capacity was limited by the patios” and “the stay cannot exceed half an hour”.
In Granada, Mass on November 2 will be presided over by Bishop Javier Martínez and offered to victims of the pandemic. “We feel very closely the suffering and pain of those who suffer from the virus, and of those who suffer the loss of their loved ones, especially in these circumstances. We pray for them all and we entrust to God the consolation for them all and we pray for the end of the pandemic ”, they underline from the archdiocese.
The National Association of Funeral Services (PANASEF), as well as all Spanish companies in the sector, paid tribute to the victims of the pandemic and all those who died this year, through the symbolic language of flowers. In addition, they wanted to give “deserved recognition” to funeral staff, “the sometimes forgotten last link in the health chain during this pandemic”.
Castilla La Mancha
Restrictions in the main towns in the region. In Toledo there will be temperature checks and a maximum of four people per grave has been established.
In Albacete, two access controls will be activated, where the temperature will be taken and the hydrogel will be distributed. It is recommended that the visit not last longer than 45 minutes and a maximum capacity of 5,000 people has been established.
In Barcelona, the nine cemeteries will extend their opening hours from October 24, but will regulate access to avoid crowds.
In Tarragona, it is recommended not to concentrate the visits on this weekend. Schedules have been extended and back-up staff have been hired, while a maximum stay of three minutes is recommended, with groups limited to six people.
In Girona there will be a limited capacity, a ban on eating or drinking and a time limit on the stay, while in Lleida the hours will be extended.
In Santander, there will be temperature control and a reduction in the number of masses. Major cemeteries will apply restrictions such as capacity control during the days leading up to All Saints’ Day.
There will be no water in the fountains and they will have temperature controls in the municipal cemetery of Logroño.
Capacity and access controls will be limited. It is recommended that people at risk avoid spending the days of greatest influx, access controls and the maximum number of people not living together will be one person per 4 square meters of surface, not being able to coincide with non-living in pantheons that have less than 8 useful meters.
Five different entrances will be open to avoid built-up areas and temperature checks will be carried out.
Capacity control, access and possible extension of hours during the bridge.