Alert Level 2 on Gran Canaria after this week’s sudden rise in COVID infections
The Canary Islands Governing Council meeting this afternoon met, as they do weekly, to respond to and analyse the latest COVID19 data, and in particular this week the sudden increases in coronavirus cases, on the islands. Blas Trujillo, Minister for Health, reported to press after the meeting in which the modification of the levels has been assessed.
The rebound in the number of infections that the archipelago has been experiencing has meant Tenerife having been moved to Level 3 restrictions last week, and now those restrictions are further enhanced for Alert Levels 3 & 4, including restrictions on the sale of alcohol, the closure of beaches at night and a request to close all nightlife between 00.30 and 0600. This change in level takes effect from this Thursday night after the publication of the General Directorate of Public Health’s traffic light assessment.
The Ministry of Health reported 513 new cases of coronavirus today, breaking the record for the daily number of infections detected at any point during the entire pandemic, the figure is 33% higher than the previous worst record of 385 cases, which was reached back on 4 September 2020. Julio Pérez, spokesman for the Government of the Canary Islands, and the Minister of Health, Blas Trujillo, appeared after the Governing Council to detail the decisions and answer press questions, explaining that Gran Canaria will go up to Alert Level 2. The rest of the islands, for now, remain unchanged: El Hierro, La Palma, La Gomera and Lanzarote remain at Alert Level 1 and Tenerife, at Level 3.
The Governing Council meeting ran much later than expected, until 9:30 pm, with the press conference live feed on a video intro loop for more than an hour and a half, Trujillo apologised for the delay describing the day’s talks as “intense”.
The Regional Executive will request that the Canary Islands High Court, Superior Court of Justice of the Canary Islands (TSJC), agree to restrict night time mobility between 00:30 and 06:00 on all islands at Level 3 and 4, a measure they have previously rejected; as well as restrictions on the sale of alcohol and the closure of beaches from 8:00 pm, in order to avoid youths gathering in large groups, as has been seen over recent weeks as the summer holidays have begun. It was made clear earlier today that the largest number of infections are occurring in 15-29 year olds. Hospitalisations, however, have not currently followed the curve of infection, which has been taken as a clear signal that vaccines are protecting older people, and that younger people are not as badly affected, though the president, Angel Victor Torres did remind everyone this morning that there was still a real danger of chronic illness.
This Thursdays data for the Canary Islands has the single highest one day increase since the pandemic started in March 2020. The Health Ministry for the Regional Executive reported 513 new infections in a single day. The island that has seen most of these positives is Tenerife (299), followed by Gran Canaria (143).
#CGobCan Rueda de prensa posterior al Consejo de Gobierno de #Canarias del consejero de Sanidad, Blas Trujillo
Posted by Presidencia del Gobierno de Canarias on Thursday, July 8, 2021
The Full press Conference [In Spanish]
Minister Trujillo, announced a series of health measures such as screening in the most affected basic health areas. With regard to vaccination, the Ministry of Health announced an acceleration in the groups most affected by the latest surge in infections, which are young people between the ages of 20 and 29 years old.
In addition, this Sunday, there will be a second free mass vaccination drive on the islands of Tenerife and Gran Canaria for all people between 40 and 59 years old to whom the Jansen single dose vaccine will be administered.
The Canary Islands Government Agreement announced today includes the following changes in the measures for Alert Level 3 (which at this time affects only Tenerife) that will be likely published this Saturday in the BOC (Official Gazette), so they would come into effect from 00:00 Sunday, for the avoidance of doubt that is starting at the end of Saturday from the first minute of Sunday Morning.
The changes include:
- Prohibition of the sale of alcohol after 10 pm.
- Parks and beaches are to close at night and other public spaces in which large gatherings are foreseeable, between 8:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.
- Regular public urban, interurban and metropolitan land transport: capacity reduction to 33% and reinforcement of the busiest routes.
- Work: provision of telematic services, whenever possible based on the characteristics of the job. Avoid as much as possible the consumption of food indoors, trying, when this is not possible, to eat in shifts, to avoid large groups.
- Shopping centres and parks: 25% of authorised capacity, both inside the establishments and in common areas. No loitering in common areas, except for transit or waiting to access establishments. In the case of establishments or premises distributed over several floors, this limitation must be met on all floors.
- Prohibition, in closed spaces, of choirs, bands, orchestras or other musical groups where the continuous use of masks and interpersonal safety distances of two meters cannot be maintained. These activities may take place outdoors, as long as this distance between each other and the public is guaranteed.
- Prohibition of mass events subject to health authorisation, that is, any event that exceeds 750 people.
- The postponement of any celebration or mass event not subject to authorisation is recommended.
🚦Se actualizan los niveles de alerta por islas:
🟢Nivel de alerta 1: La Palma, La Gomera, El Hierro, Lanzarote y La Graciosa
🟡Nivel de alerta 2: Gran Canaria y Fuerteventura
🔴Nivel de alerta 3: Tenerife
— Sanidad Gobcan (@SanidadGobCan) July 8, 2021
#CGobCan El Consejo de Gobierno de #Canarias acuerda solicitar al TSJC la autorización para restringir la movilidad entre las 00:30 y las 6:00 horas en los niveles 3 y 4. pic.twitter.com/WEncngD6dA — Presidencia GobCan (@PresiCan) July 8, 2021
#CGobCan Gran Canaria sube a nivel de alerta 2 y el resto de islas mantienen el mismo nivel:
— Presidencia GobCan (@PresiCan) July 8, 2021