NEW RULES Canary Islands: Mandatory Masks, Prohibited Smoking & Limited Nightlife
The President of the Government of the Canary Islands, Ángel Víctor Torres, announces new preventive measures due to the continuous increase in the number of infections with COVID-19 in recent weeks.
The Canary Islands are prohibiting smoking in open spaces if the safety distance is not maintained and they will also impose the mandatory use of masks in all spaces.
Ángel Víctor Torres, President of the Government of the Canary Islands, announced this Thursday the measures decided at the extraordinary meeting that the Governing Council held this morning to analyze the evolution of the coronavirus in the archipelago. The head of the Executive assured that the places where people gather the most, both indoors and outdoors, will be "pursued and monitored," where only a maximum of ten people will be allowed to meet.
These new measures, which will come into force tomorrow with their publication in the BOC of the Canary Islands (Boletin Oficial), were introduced due to big increase in the number of infected people detected in recent weeks in the Islands.
What changes in the Canary Islands with these new rules?
- Smoking will be banned in open spaces if the 1.5 safety distance from other people can't be met
- The use of masks will become mandatory in all spaces (even outdoor)
- Limited nightlife: Clubs and other nightlife establishments may open open-air spaces to the public exclusively, for consumption sitting at the table. Dance floors are not allowed.
The capacity in terraces will be 75% and interpersonal distance will have to be maintained or, failing that, people will need to use a mask.
Remember that these rules apply in all the Canary Islands!
Masks are now manadatory in all spaces in Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura, La Gomera, La Palmas, El Hierro and La Graciosa!
UPDATE - More details about the new rules, as published by the Government of The Canary Islands (Gobierno de Canarias)
Despite the negative evolution, the Canary Islands today have the most favorable situation of the pandemic in Spain, being the territory with a cumulative incidence of diagnosed cases (measured at 14 days) with the most favorable situation in the country, with 22.71 cases for every 100,000 inhabitants, ahead of Asturias and Galicia, according to the latest official report on COVID-19 (Wednesday, August 12) published by the Ministry of Health.
On July 31 there were 15 active outbreaks in the Canary Islands, involving 157 confirmed cases and more than 500 close contacts identified and quarantined. That is, in two weeks the number of people detected as close contacts in possible outbreaks has increased by 50%.
In view of this situation, the Governing Council has decided to adopt new restrictive measures proportional to the risk and directed at those areas or sectors where the risk of transmission has to be reduced.
Mandatory mask in all spaces
As of this Friday, when the agreement is published in the BOC, the mandatory use of masks is established for all persons six years of age and older.
It will be mandatory to wear a mask on “public roads, in outdoor spaces and in any closed space for public use, REGARDLESS of maintaining the interpersonal safety distance of at least 1.5 meters ”.
EXCEPTION from the obligation to wear a mask outside
In natural spaces and outside population centers, the obligation to wear a mask is excluded as long as the influx of people allows maintaining the interpersonal safety distance of at least 1.5 meters.
So you don't need to wear a mask if you are going hiking or walking in small groups outside of towns and populated places.
In addition, the correct use of the mask will be mandatory, and it must cover the nose and mouth completely at all times. Likewise, it must be properly adjusted to the nose and chin, so as to prevent the expulsion of respiratory secretions in the environment.
Mask regulations in hotels, at the pool and on the beach
The mask will be mandatory in the hotel and restaurant establishments and services, including bars and cafes. The obligation to use it is only excluded at the time of food or drink consumption.
On the beaches and swimming pools, the obligation to use the mask is only excluded while bathing and while remaining in a determined space (like a sunbed), without moving, and provided that the safety distance can be guaranteed between other people in the area who are not from the same household. In any case, the use of a mask will be mandatory in the entrances and during other movements and walks that take place in these spaces and facilities.
For example, when you're at the pool and you need to go use the toilet, you will need to put on a mask on your way there.
In addition the Governing Council, at the request of the Ministry of Health, recommends the use of a mask also in private spaces, “both open and closed when meetings of people from different coexistence centers are held”.
The previous rule regarding capacity in bars and restaurants is modified and the maximum occupation of the table or group of tables will be 10 people, both inside and outside on the terrace.
The separation distance of 1.5 meters should be maintained between the tables or groups of tables, as well as in the bar between clients or groups. The maximum occupancy per table or group of tables indoors and outdoors will be 10 people. In any case, the establishments must have the aforementioned separation distance adequately marked.
Regarding nightlife, only the types of activities that occurs in open spaces, like terraces, are allowed.
These premises may be open to the public exclusively for sitting or standing consumption. Access will be limited to groups of up to 10 people from their social or family environment, sitting or standing, and consumption will be directly served in each separated area.
In any case, the capacity in outdoor terraces, discos and nightlife venues will be limited at a maximum of 75% occupation. In addition, it is necessary to maintain interpersonal distance and the use of a mask.
Where appropriate, the security personnel will ensure that the interpersonal safety distance is respected and will avoid the formation of large groups and agglomerations, paying special attention to access and immediate areas, as well as to any other area where the interpersonal space is not respected.
The Government also prohibits gatherings and parties in recreational boats where the safety distance cannot be maintained.
The president also stressed that the celebration of festivals and popular fiestas will continue to be unauthorized, given the current epidemiological evolution.
Rules on smoking
On the other hand, the Governing Council approved the prohibition of smoking on public roads or in spaces for public use where the physical distance of 1.5 meters cannot be maintained, taking into account the risk of contagion of COVID-19 due to the smoke.
Finally, the president announced that special attention will be given to nursing homes, which will imply a screening of both residents and workers.