Lock me down again!

Updated: Oct 19, 2020

UPDATED TO INCLUDE NEW RESTRICTIONS : The local authorities have published the new measures set to come into effect on Tuesday 20th October 2020. Please find our detailed explanation here

Sadly the premature exultant relief of being released from our Non Pilares restrictions lasted a little less than 24 hours as the local Government announced the intention to enforce a whole new set of restrictions for us to get our heads around that will come into force this Monday coming.

Frustratingly details are expected to be announced over the weekend and on Monday itself, making our ability to plan and prepare more complicated. There is little to go on as of Friday evening. We will of course set out what we learn of the proposals over the weekend as we get them, we will of course update as further information becomes available.

The General Director of Public Health, Francisco Javier Fall and the General Director of Health Assistance José María Abad held a press conference on the afternoon of Friday 16th October to inform us of the measures being put in to place after the National Ministry of Health announced Aragón was considered at “extreme risk”. This opens up the possibility to “extreme measures”. This status is being announced as there are few areas in the region that are reporting a positive use incidence below the threshold 50 per 100,000, although they did confirm the situation is not as grave as the figures in August and that the trend has reversed with Zaragoza fairing better than other regions outside the capital.

This new classification system is being debated in the National Parliament on Monday, but restrictions listed as possible to an area like Dragon categorised as at “extreme risk” are eye watering to say the least:

Restrictions on the freedom of movement for citizens

Perimeter lockdowns of communities, zones or cities

Social gatherings of a maximum of six people

25% limit of capacity in shops and outdoor markets

Bars and restaurants interiors to be closed

Capacity limited to 50% on terraces, with a minimum separation of two meters between tables

A Nightlife ban

Lock down of pensioner residences and suspension of day centre services

Public transport capacity limited to 30%

Telework recommendation

Blended education in schools whenever possible

Preferential physical activity hours for people over 70 years old

Places of worship at 30% capacity

Weddings and wakes limited to a maximum of 10 people

Banquets expressly prohibited

Congresses and seminars online only

Closure of entertainment venues such as bingo halls, casinos, betting shops and arcades

Academies and driving schools with 30% capacity

Museums and exhibitions at 25% of their capacity

Falo explained that the legal form of the new measures was “being assessed” and he hoped that the judicial situation would be “solved”. He was brutal, if a little vague, in his warning that “we can no longer talk about a new normal, you have to live with the virus”.

The spokesmen expressly stated their intention to utilise the social group limit of 6 and introduced the language of a social bubble, already familiar to people in the UK. They did also hint at an express intention not to make any changes to education arrangements but whether that would include academies is unlikely.

These measures have not been given a timeframe but Ministers have been quoted as referring to a complicated six weeks.

Another set of randomly adjusted measures for us to get used to alongside existing restrictions which frankly, are beginning to look like a charter for economic and emotional armageddon.

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