A month before Christmas Eve, the Spanish government has leaked the proposed restrictions for a festive period marked by coronavirus. According to a draft advanced by El Mundo and to which ARA has had access, the Health Ministry proposes limiting family and social gatherings during Christmas to six people. In addition, it proposes making two exceptions to the curfew: that both on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve it should not begin until one in the morning and last until six in the morning.
The proposal is being studied in a specific committee and would have to be approved by the majority of autonomous communities within the framework of the inter-territorial health council. This is a different proposal from the Catalan one, since the Generalitat last week proposed that the meetings could be extended to ten people during the Christmas holidays if the data were favourable.
The Ministry of Health draft recommends that Christmas meals be limited to the regular cohabitation group. However, in the event that there is an external member, it stipulates that private meetings should be for a maximum of six people, regardless of whether they are family members or not. In other words, a large family of five people could invite only one person. In this context, precautionary measures should stay in place as much as possible: mask, hand hygiene, safety distance and, above all, ventilation of the spaces. However, it recommends above all that people with symptoms, those who are waiting for the results of the coronavirus test, those who have been in contact with a positive person in the last 14 days and those who are diagnosed should be kept isolated.
No state restrictions on mobility
With regard to mobility at the State level, the Ministry of Health does not make any specific recommendation beyond, as a general rule, "avoiding trips that are not strictly necessary". In other words, it does not propose maintaining perimeter confinements between communities, which would make it possible to bring together families spread across different territories of the State. However, he calls the movements "exceptional" and reminds that it is necessary to get tested in order to return to Spain if one goes abroad by plane or boat, as the new protocol for entering the State came into force on Monday.
In the case of university students returning home, it is recommended that they "limit social interactions" in the days prior to family reunions and that they take extreme protection measures. Once home, they should limit contacts and try to interact mainly outdoors and with masks.
No to the Three Kings Parade
The Ministry of Health recommends avoiding events with large crowds and therefore proposes not to hold Kings' Parades or similar events. If they were to be held, it proposes that alternatives be put forward that guarantee compliance with hygiene and prevention rules, such as "static parades" in places where access can be controlled, like the one that Barcelona is preparing in the Forum area.
Yes to the San Silvestre
Typical Christmas races, such as the San Silvestre, can be held without problems as long as they respect the curfew and a protocol is set up to reduce contact between runners. However, it is recommended that they do not have an audience.
Yes to culture this year as long as the capacity limitation in force in each autonomous community is maintained. As for the typical Christmas exhibitions, it is requested that they be mainly outdoors.
No singing at Christmas mass
Masses may be celebrated as long as the capacity established by each community is maintained. However, it is requested above all that no singing be done to prevent the spread of the virus and that recorded Christmas carols be used.
Promoting local trade
As far as Christmas shopping is concerned, town councils are asked to carry out campaigns to promote local commerce in order to avoid crowding in shopping centres and to minimise mobility. The population is asked to organise their purchases in advance. Christmas markets may be organised with capacity restrictions.
Older people will be able to leave care homes
Extended visits are permitted during the festive season provided that hygiene and prevention measures are maintained. If a person leaves to join the family, a diagnostic test will have to be carried out on return to avoid contagion.
Increased public transport
Administrations are asked to increase the frequency of public transport and the number of people walking or cycling in order to try to get people to concentrate near their homes rather than in city centres.