POLICE are taking a tough line on Covid-19 prevention rule-breakers in the Costa Almeria capital.
The city’s anti-Covid police operation has seen officers issue some 700 reports in just the last week compared with the 120 registered in the last fortnight of July and the first week of August.
Police have taken action against more than 600 people for failing to wear a face mask in public. They have also reported establishments for not complying with social distancing rules between tables on bar and restaurant terraces or for not respecting set maximum capacities.
Officers issued sanctions against 11 people for so-called “botellones”, or gatherings in public places to drink and party.
On top of that, they reported six people for smoking on the street or on a bar or restaurant terrace, something which has been prohibited in Andalucia since Monday under new restrictions aimed at halting a surge in the number of people testing positive for the virus in the region in recent weeks.
Almeria city Public Safety councilor Maria del Mar explained the anti-Covid operation meant more inspections and checks on wining and dining establishments, shops and leisure outlets, as well as on the most crowded areas.
The aim she said is to “intensify the compulsory use of the face mask and social distancing, as well as all the health authorities’ recommendations in order to reduce the rate of coronavirus infections.”
The councillor highlighted the awareness-raising side of the operation, with a campaign to promote public health on the street in collaboration with Civil Protection personnel.
She said getting the message across about the importance of respecting the health safety rules and regulations is vital, as is coordinated action between the public administrations and the security forces, to get the new infection rate down and to stop the virus from spreading.