The Interterritorial Health Council, the body that brings together the Ministry of Health and the health departments of the autonomous communities, on Friday “unanimously” approved the closure “as soon as possible” of nightlife as part of a package of measures to try to stop outbreaks and resurgence of the pandemic. The closure of pubs, discos and dance halls that was applied to the health area of A Coruña must now be extended to the whole of Galicia, and to the rest of the State, while the Xunta will now have to transpose this decision into its own regulations, including its publication in the DOG, in order for them to be effective. The total closure of nightlife in the Galician community will be effective from Sunday night to Monday. This was reported by sources of the autonomous Executive, who said that the Xunta is still waiting for the Ministry of Health to communicate the final terms and details of the implementation of the various measures. It will be effective at 0.00 hours on Monday 17 August 2020.
The agreement of the Interterritorial Council also includes a package of measures and restrictions that will lead to the regulation of the exceptions in each of the autonomous communities. These include a ban on smoking or smoking in open spaces (including terraces) if the distance of 2 metres from other people cannot be guaranteed, a measure already in force in Galicia on the initiative of the Xunta from this 13 August.
Likewise in the field of leisure, the new restrictions also apply to the hotel and catering sector. Restaurants and bars must close at one o’clock in the morning and will not be able to admit “new clients from midnight”. In addition, tables in hotel and catering establishments will not be able to seat more than 10 people, as well as reminding them of the ban on drinking alcohol on the public highway. The Ministry of Health also recommends that personal meetings be limited to 10 people, which is established as a recommendation for citizens’ leisure activities.
The agreement also extends to other areas of action, such as nursing homes. The agreement involves limiting, as a general rule, visits to one person per resident per day to a maximum of one hour and “limiting outings” outside the premises to a maximum. Furthermore, it limits to the maximum” the exits of persons who live in retirement homes and imposes the obligatory PCRs for all personnel who join them, which until now was not applied in Galicia.
Asemade, Isla stressed, the autonomous regions are committed to imposing “obligatory” PCR tests on all new admissions” to these centers within a maximum margin of 3 days. The Galician protocol already provides for this test, so it is not an additional measure for residents but for staff, because from now on, as agreed, will be made “mandatory PCR” also to staff “who return from vacation and, of course, those who join again.
Nightlife will go to court to stop the Government’s decision
“You can’t close a strategic sector in this country in this way, without explaining it to business people, without planning its future, without having agreed on anything at all,” said Spain’s President de Noche, Ramón Mas, who anticipated that the sector would take the central government’s decision to court and demanded an economic bailout from the Autonomous Communities.
The president of the business organization of discotheques and nightclubs has considered this decision, which has been taken “without talking” with the employers of leisure or entrepreneurs, and without offering any rescue plan or aid, to be a “total aberration”. He has assured that this sector, which accounts for 1.8% of GDP, generates 200,000 jobs and comprises 25,000 companies.