The new measures: what do they mean for us?

The new measures explained plus links to both resolutions.

Sunday 9th May 2021 – Compiled by MIKE SMITH

At midnight Saturday night, the national state of alarm that has been in force across Spain since last November expired. It provided a legal framework on which to enforce a number of measures restricting daily life for citizens, including the limitation of movement and social gatherings.

The expiration of the state of alarm has forced many regions to seek a legal basis to maintain non-pharmaceutical measures to halt the spread of the COVID-19 infection and the Generalitat Valenciana received approval from the region’s Supreme Court on Friday to do so.

Supporting epidemiological reports have concluded that, although the current health situation is positive as the region remains that with the lowest infection rate in the country, there are concerns over the spread of new variants of the disease (British, South African and, now, Indian) as well as the fact that the vaccination coverage, although improving in recent weeks, has yet to provide collective immunity and both aspects may increase the risk of a new epidemic wave if non-pharmaceutical measures are eased too quickly.

We have analyzed and translated both resolutions; links to a PDF copy of the full text of each can be found in the relevant title.

[2021/5085] Resolution May 8th 2021

RESOLUTION of May 8, 2021, of the Ministry for Universal Health and Public Health, which is issued as a consequence of the termination of the state of alarm, authorized by Order 173/2021, of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Comunidad Valenciana for the period between May 9, 2021 and May 24, 2021. [2021/5085].

First Article: Measures concerning the circulation of people

Night Curfew: The freedom of movement of people at night is limited across the whole of the Comunidad Valenciana between 00:00h and 06:00h, except for the following activities: the acquisition of medicines, health products and other essential goods; travelling to health centres, health services and similar establishments; travelling to vets for emergency reasons only; for work and legal obligations; returning home after carrying out some of these activities; caring for the elderly, minors, dependents, people with disabilities or especially vulnerable people; hunting linked with the control of game species linked with damage to ecosystems, agriculture and livestock, and road safety; force majeure and situation of need; plus any other activity of a similar nature, which is duly accredited.

Second Article: Measures concerning the gathering of people.

Social gatherings are limited to a maximum of 10 people in public spaces, both inside and outside as well as home and spaces for private use, both inside and outside, except in the case of those who live together. In the case of the latter, no more than two coexistence groups can meet together.

There are a number of exceptions which can be studied in the full article in the link above, but include non-professional activities related to care of minors and the elderly, the alternative living of children whose parents don’t live together, and people who live alone (who may join a single ‘social bubble’).

This resolution is valid from 00:00h Sunday 9th May until 00:00h Monday 24th May (which is midnight Sunday 23rd).

[2021/5086] Resolution May 8th 2021

RESOLUTION of May 8, 2021, of the Minister of Universal Health and Public Health, by which measures are agreed in matters of public health in the field of the Valencian Community, as a consequence of the situation of health crisis caused by the COVID-19. [2021/5086]

First Article: Precautionary Measures, Safety and Hygiene

  1. The resolution reminds all citizens of the Comunidad Valenciana of their responsibility to take all the necessary measures to reduce the risk of spread of the COVID-19 disease.
  2. An interpersonal safety distance of 1.5 metres must be observed at all times, as established in Law 2/2021 March 29, to reduce the risk of spread of the COVID-19 disease.
  3. Everyone aged six and above must wear a face mask on the public highway, in outdoor spaces and enclosed spaces for public use, regardless of the maintenance of the interpersonal safety distance, and on air, sea, bus and rail transport as well as public or private transport in vehicles up to nine seats (including the driver) unless all the occupants live in the same house.

    Exemptions: Those who have breathing difficulties or a condition that may be aggravated by wearing a face mask, including those who have a disability or lack the autonomy to remove the mask themselves as well as those who have behavioural disorders; those who are exercising individually outdoors; those who find themselves in cases of force majeure or situation of need; those who are carrying out activities during which the wearing of a face mask is unfeasible.

    Additional Exemptions: Face masks don’t have to be worn for swimming in the sea, lakes, reservoirs, rivers, or other bathing areas, as well as in swimming pools, outdoors or indoors. In addition, you don’t have to wear a face mask for resting between swimming so long as you remain in one place, respect the minimum interpersonal distance, and any group doesn’t exceed the maximum number allowed, which is ten people.

    Activities of a non-sporting physical nature, outdoors and individual, are considered the same as individual sport and a minimum distance of 1.5 metres should be maintained between people who don’t live together.

    You must wear a face mask when accessing beaches, lakes and other natural environments, walking by the sea along promenades, in changing rooms in public or community swimming pools (except in the showers), and whilst sitting outside or inside a bar or restaurant venue unless you are in the process of eating or drinking.

Second Article: Specific Measures by Activity, Service and Sector

A full explanation can be found in the title link above. However, we summarize the main issues below:

  1. Bars and Restaurants

    The permitted capacity inside the premises is 50% whilst always respecting strict compliance with ventilation and air-conditioning measures for interior spaces.

    The permitted capacity for outdoor terraces is 100%. An “outdoor terrace” is considered to be any uncovered space or any space that, being covered, is surrounded by a maximum of two walls or awnings.

    The venues are permitted to remain open until 11.30pm. A maximum of 10 people can occupy a table or group of tables, unless they are living together. The distance between tables should be two metres inside and 1.5 metres on outdoor terraces. Consumption of food and drink can only be carried out whilst sitting at a table and a face mask must be worn when not actually eating or drinking.

    Standing at the bar, smoking, the use of any device for the inhalation of tobacco, water pipes, hookahs or similar, including electronic cigarettes and vaping in outdoor or closed spaces, as well as dancing indoor or outdoors is not permitted.
  2. Nightclubs, dance halls, and cocktail bars with or without live music, pubs, cyber-cafés, theatre cafés, concert cafés and music cafés cannot yet re-open. However, they may carry out restaurant and hospitality activities compatible with their licence or authorization, such as placing table and chairs on their dance floors with all the appropriate protocols in place.

    Consumption of food and drink can only be carried out whilst sitting at a table. Dancing, karaoke, sporadic or amateur singing performances are not permitted but performances from professional musicians and DJs are permitted with the appropriate protocols in place, including a minimum safety distance of two metres between musicians and the public in the case of singers and wind instruments.
  3. The sale of alcohol is not permitted between 10.00pm and 8.00am the following day in all retail establishments, regardless of the operating licence, except in those establishments that are governed by the provisions in paragraph 1.

    The consumption of alcohol on the public highway is prohibited 24 hours a day, except in bars and restaurants.
  4. Sports

    Non-contact physical activity, outdoor and in open or closed sports facilities, is permitted, either individually or in pairs. A face mask must be worn in areas or spaces with a large influx of people where it is not possible to maintain the minimum interpersonal safety distance between other athletes or pedestrians.

    Measures for specific modalities and training sessions can be found in the link given in the title above.
  5. Swimming Pools, Beaches and Spas

    Swimming pools for recreational use, hotel pools, tourist accommodation and urbanization complex pools, as well as spas, can open to 75% of licensed capacity in terms of access and use. The changing rooms and showers can be used up to 50% of their licensed capacity.

    Beaches can be used for walking and physical or sporting activities in the open air, so long as all the necessary interpersonal distances and hygiene protocols are observed.

This resolution is valid from 00:00h Sunday 9th May until 00:00h Monday 24th May (which is midnight Sunday 23rd).