It has been a weekend in which we have seen our daily lives change once again as Spain battles the ‘second wave’ of the coronavirus. As we enter a new week, we are now subject to a night-time curfew and have to further limit our social interaction, amongst other measures to try and bend the infection curve. And it could all be in place until next May.
On Saturday, the president of Generalitat Valenciana Ximo Puig informed the Valencian people of the new measures which would be imposed on the region. They came into force at 1.00am on the morning on Sunday 25th October and would last until at least December 9th. These included a night-time curfew, a reduction in the maximum number of people for social gatherings and the overnight closure of parks and public spaces.
Twenty-four hours later, the Spanish prime minister Pedro Sánchez went on TV to inform the nation that the Council of Ministers had approved a new decree to declare a ‘state of alarm’ across the country. But it would be different to the one declared back in March. The population would not be subject to a full confinement and can leave their homes, go shopping and head to bars and restaurants, but a nationwide night-time curfew would come into immediate effect and, although the initial duration would be 15 days to November 9th, the Government would be seeking approval to extend the ‘state of alarm’ until May 9th 2021.
What are the new regulations?
The Curfew: The national ‘state of alarm’ has imposed an immediate night-time curfew which limits the freedom of movement of people between the hours of 11.00pm and 6.00am the following day (with exceptions – travelling to and from work, medical reasons and care of a dependent person will be permitted). Autonomous governments have been given the right to adjust this period by an hour either way and the Comunidad Valenciana has decreed that the curfew hours will be midnight to 06:00.
Eating and Drinking: Customers must be seated in bars and restaurants and can no longer stand at the bar to drink or eat. Face masks must be worn at all times unless eating or drinking. The resolution of the Generalitat Valenciana decreed that last orders will be at 11.00pm.
[The national business association Hostelería de España has already launched a campaign to ask citizens to bring forward their evening meal in bars and restaurants to 8.00pm to support the hospitality sector.]
Alcohol: Except in bars and restaurants, alcohol will not be available for sale between 10.00pm and 8.00am the following morning, even from licensed vendors, and drinking on the public highway and in public spaces is banned entirely, at any time of the day.
Social Gatherings: Both the national decree and regional resolution limit the maximum number of people to 6 people, both for meetings/gathering in public and private spaces, unless everyone lives together.
Other Restrictions: The new ‘state of alarm’ gives the autonomous governments the power to restrict entry and exit into its entire territory whilst it can also decide to confine smaller areas within its territory at provincial, regional or local level if the epidemiological situation decrees it necessary. There are no such plans for the Comunidad Valenciana at the moment.