SPAIN’S Minister of Health Salvador Illa has confirmed Christmas restriction changes that will allow family trips between autonomous communities, ten people – including minors – for Christmas celebrations and 1.30 am curfews for Christmas and New Year’s Eve nights.
Up until now trips between autonomous communities were not allowed, however, the new measures mean trips can be made although exclusively to visit relatives and with many limitations.
The announcement stated that the autonomies will maintain the perimeter confinements of their regions between December 23 and January 6, except “for trips to autonomous communities or cities that are the usual place of residence of relatives”.
The agreement on a government level will, however, be a guide for the communities, who will be able to clarify this plan and introduce modifications if they choose.
The measures also establish that the maximum number of people who can meet will be 10, except for cohabitants as the government has softened its initial position of allowing only 6 people to gather for Christmas dinner and celebrations, which again needs to get the support of the autonomies.
The regional authorities will also be in charge of ‘policing’ that “family or friends meetings to celebrate Christmas lunches and dinners on December 24, 25 and 31, 2020, and January 1, 2021, are conditioned on not exceeding the maximum number of ten people, except in the case of cohabitants”, if they choose to adopt the plan.
Another issue addressed by the Health Ministry is the extension of the current curfews until 1.30 am on Christmas and New Year’s Eve nights, however, the autonomies could maintain the prohibition of returning home earlier if they deem it convenient.
Illa has clarified that any changes to the extension of the curfew are “only to allow the return home,” stating that “in no case will this time extension be used to travel to different social gatherings.”
Whatever happens, however, life must go on and while a visit to a live traditional Nativity scene may not feature in this Christmas’ plans, there will no doubt be a number of static scenes available to view online.
And carol singing can go ahead with social distancing in place, Christmas lights are being switched on and there is always Three Kings to look forward to.
Christmas shopping on the Costa del Sol, however, could be a bit trickier with shopping centres such as La Cañada in Marbella and Plaza Mayor in Malaga – which rely on out of town visitors – being hit by the restrictions.
On the plus side, many municipalities do have decent high streets offering plenty of choice with residents being encouraged to buy locally.
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