Semana Santa is going to be celebrated in the same fashion as everything this past year, with restrictions, restrictions and more restrictions. I imagine that the disregard of any type of safety protocols over Christmas and New Year’s that created another spike in COVID-19 is the reason behind the measures that have been put in place.
Travel between islands from midnight last night and until midnight of Friday 9th April to coincide with Easter has been restricted which does not include exceptions indicated in Royal Decree-Law 926/2020 of 25th October (medical, work related, return to one’s primary residence…). The only way to travel between islands for reasons that do not meet that criteria is to show proof of a negative COVID PRC test.
Other restrictions are to do with limited number of persons who can meet in public areas (indoors or open-air) to a maximum of four as long as they do not reside in the same house (Alert Levels 1, 2 and 3) and a maximum of two (Alert Level 4). Only persons who reside in the same house may gather in private residences.
Curfew has been set between 11pm and 6pm (Alert Level 1) and between 10pm and 6am (Alert Levels 2, 3 and 4). This does not affect essential activities.
Restrictions will also apply to those wishing to enter the Canary Islands during the Easter period.
There are of course specific measures for the hospitality sector (restaurants, bars, terraces, cafés and similar) besides the general measures in place for each alert level during this period.
- Safety distance of at least 2 metres between chairs belonging to different groups of tables.
- Try to ensure the maximum distance between occupants of the same table, preferably so they are sat face to face
- Consumption of food and drink outside of the designated seating area assigned to each customer is prohibited and specifically alcoholic beverages
- Smoking on terraces or other open-air areas belonging to the establishment is strictly prohibited. Smoking tabacco or other substances within a 5 metre perimeter of access points of the establishments is prohibited.
- Customers must remain at their tables to reduce movement around the establishment as much as possible.
- The use of masks is obligatory except in the moment in which food or drink is consumed, so basically between bites and sips you must slip the mask back on.
- Activities that promote gatherings, incorrect use of masks or non-compliance with the safetey distance are prohibited (fiestas, dances, karaokes, competitions, concerts or ambient music that invites people to sing or dance…).
- The owners of the establishments are responsible for ensuring all appropriate measures to prevent further contagion of COVID-19.
This list of restrictions definitely does not put one in the mood for celebrating anything, but I suppose that is kind of the point and it does not mean you can’t go out and still have fun. What I do know is that the blatant disregard of these rules just sets us back even further and if we don’t do our best to follow guidelines and restrictions, we are never going to break this cycle, and I can’t be the only one who wants to return to a pre-COVID existence some time in the very near future.