Will there be more restrictions for Christmas? Health and CCAA review measures today in response to COVID-19 rebound

Posted: Wednesday, December 16, 2020 8:22 a.m.

After the progress of the pandemic in recent days, it is no longer excluded that the restrictions will have to be tightened at Christmas. Health and Autonomous Communities are meeting this afternoon at the Interterritorial Health Council and one of the issues they will need to address is the worrying increase in cases.

Health acknowledged on Monday that if infections continued to rise, it was possible that more restrictive measures would have to be taken, which will depend, in any event, on the coronavirus incidence curve this week, if the upward trend continues.

The director of the Center for the Coordination of Alerts and Health Emergencies, Fernando Simón, recalled that “the real effect of the Constitution Bridge” is still unknown and that the Minister of Health, Salvador Illa, will be in contact with the advisers sanitary facilities to assess what to do for the next holidays.

“If the situation changes, I have no doubt that the administrators will want to change the restrictions,” he said. They recognize in Health that it will cost people to comply with the provisions of the Christmas plan, that is to say to limit travel to only family reunification and with relatives and to limit meetings to two bubbles and a maximum of 10 people.

Review of measures

Several autonomous communities, such as Andalusia and Madrid, will take stock of the situation this week. And although for now they are not planning more severe measures, they are not denying them outright.

“We will try not to harden” the measures, said on Tuesday the chairman of the board, Juanma Moreno, who admitted her concern: “We are constantly reviewing the measures (…) The virus is still among us and we are not done with A simple bridge with the hotel industry closed at 6:00 p.m. generated a rebound “.

The accumulated incidence continues to increase in Spain. The decline in new coronavirus cases began on November 9 (with 193.26, dropping below 200 for the first time since last August), and on Friday December 10, it fell to 188.72. Monday 14, it has already risen to 193 and continued to reach 198.77 cases per 100,000 inhabitants on Tuesday, five points more than on Monday.

Madrid said a few days ago that they would wait this week for the evolution of epidemiological data and that the holidays, like the last bridge, the Constitution and the Immaculate, “greatly alter the follow-up”.

“We can speak of a recovery, but we must assess where these infections occur and, above all, if this has an impact on well-being, which is not,” said the Minister of Health , Ruiz Escudero: “It’s a growth in a very soft and widespread”.

Andalusia could start the second phase

Andalusia plans the second phase of the de-escalation from this Friday 18. It will be more flexible with the restrictions, allowing mobility between provinces and in terms of schedules. Thus, bars and restaurants can remain open until 10:30 p.m. But from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. they will have to remain closed, thus avoiding, according to the president of the council, Juanma Moreno, “hours very sensitive to contagion, according to the experts”.

However, that could change if the situation worsens in the coming days. “If the numbers get worse, we will have no choice but to limit some of the actions that we have planned,” said Moreno, who admitted: “I suffered a lot and didn’t sleep at night. thinking of the measures we have adopted, “assured.

This Saturday 12 new measures have already entered into force: it is allowed to move within the municipalities of the same province. Shops can open until 9:00 p.m., while hospitality can only open until 6:00 p.m. Stores can return to their normal hours. The curfew is established from 11:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. .

De-escalation in Catalonia, in the air

The speed of spread of the coronavirus has skyrocketed in Catalonia, which has gone from an Rt of 0.94 to one of 1.11 in the past 24 hours, indicating that the epidemic is growing again and that , if it persists, it would force the government to rethink the de-escalation measures and the Christmas plan.

The Generalitat has designed a gradual de-escalation that would allow activity to gradually recover over two months. On December 21, the region was due to enter the third phase to facilitate the celebration of the festivities, with greater flexibility in mobility, capacity or meeting restrictions to allow social gatherings.

But if the epidemiological situation does not improve in the coming days, the Generalitat could be forced to tighten the exceptional measures also during the Christmas holidays.

Mallorca enters “extreme risk”

The case of Mallorca is striking because here the incidence has skyrocketed. Thus, since Tuesday he is in “an extreme risk situation” facing the coronavirus and goes to the maximum level of protection on the 4th, so that during the Christmas dinners on December 24th, only a maximum of 6 people out of two can meet different cores of coexistence (for example, a grandmother and the family of a child).

The bars and restaurants will be closed, at least for the next two weeks, at 6:00 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and the day before the holidays to avoid the famous “late”. They will not be able to have customers inside for the next two weeks and outside they will be able to occupy 75% of the available space with a maximum of groups of six people.

At 10 p.m., also on Christmas Eve, all citizens of Mallorca must be at home, except those who have to move for professional reasons. The Balearic Islands executive set five risk levels a few weeks ago (0-4) and Mallorca is going max. Therefore, social or family gatherings are limited to six people, indoors or outdoors.

The government will review this situation in two weeks, so that until December 28 these levels of protection are maintained, which could be in effect on New Year’s Eve and the following days. Everything will depend on the levels of contagion of COVID-19.

The measures in the government’s Christmas plan “should be seen as minimal”

Public health expert Rafael Benoga believes that the measures in the government’s Christmas plan “should be considered minimal” and that the autonomous communities should take measures similar to those in other countries.

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