Proposal for Easter restrictions: 14 days lockdown, curfew and no celebrations
The Ministry of Health will present a proposal to all of the regions of Spain today, including the Canary Islands, for approval at the Inter-territorial Council meeting next Wednesday March 10th, for extra restrictions over the Easter period to finally curb the spread of Covid-19 as the country aims to be ready to accept international tourists from late May or early June.
The proposal is similar to the ‘Carnival’ restrictions that were implemented in the Canaries last month, with a standard curfew of 10pm to 6am, group sizes restricted to 4 or 6 people in public places, no celebrations or events or activities that encourage groups of people to gather, visiting other people’s homes disallowed, but with the addition of perimeter closure for 14 days to stop inter-island travel, prevent an influx from mainland Spain, and disallow students from overseas to return home as they did at Christmas.
The proposal pivots fundamentally on an agreement for the perimeter closure of all the autonomous communities for fourteen days from Friday March 26th to Friday April 9th, which covers not only Easter week as such, but also the previous weekend (Palm Sunday) and a good part of the following week.
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In addition, the document, which is three pages long called "Proposal of Public Health Measures against Covid-19 for Easter holidays 2021", proposes that all autonomous communities nationwide apply the 10pm curfew for the whole two weeks as well, which would be a national directive overriding the 11pm and midnight curfews of alert levels 1 and 2 currently in place.
The Ministry of Health also asks to prohibit "events of any kind that involve agglomeration or concentration of people"; "Limit or maintain meetings in public or private spaces to a maximum of 4 to 6 people"; and asks the autonomous communities to veto "the holding of social gatherings in homes or in other closed spaces with non-cohabitants."
The proposal justifies the need to restrict mobility during this time, “The risk scenario in the coming months is marked by the administration of the available vaccines against SARS-CoV-2. However, on the dates in which Easter is celebrated, a sufficient proportion of the population will not yet have been immunized with the vaccine to achieve a significant reduction in risk,” the document explains. "Non-pharmacological transmission control measures will continue to be the main public health measures during Holy Week to avoid a new epidemic wave," the experts insist.
Beyond the recommendations to contain the transmission of the virus and prevent the fourth wave, the Public Health Commission also encourages administrations to launch an institutional campaign to combat "pandemic fatigue", especially by emphasizing that the closing of Easter should be the last big effort, since the mass arrival of vaccines will take effect shortly.