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New Canary Islands Covid decree law expected to be published today allowing Nightlife to reopen beyond midnight

New Canary Islands Covid decree law expected to be published today allowing Nightlife to reopen beyond midnight

The Canary Islands’ Government, this Monday, in the Official Gazette of the Canary Islands (BOC), plans to publish the text of their new Covid decree law, announced last week, and last Thursday agreed in the Governing Council meeting, providing a framework that brings together the control measures against the spread of covid-19, which will now enter into force and, in addition, will be sent to the Parliament of the Canary Islands to be processed as a bill. The document maintains the use of alert levels, but the measures will be less restrictive than at present. Among the novelties presented by the regulations is the paving of the way to a reopening of nightlife, one of the sectors most economically affected by anti-covid restrictions – most of which has been closed since August 2020 – and an extension of the opening hours for hospitality establishments.

As explained by the president of the Canarian President, Ángel Víctor Torres, the new norms will compel workers in all sectors with the highest risk, whether in the public or private sphere, to present a COVID certificate showing either a negative diagnostic test result, proving that they are not infected, or that they have had a complete vaccination schedule. The Ministry of Health will now have tools to define in which work environments this measure can be imposed, which will possibly affect health professionals, nursing homes and educational centres. The decree law aims to give security to work environments, now that just over 80% of the target population of the Canary Islands have been vaccinated.

The capacity of the hospitality industry on the islands at level 3 will be 75% outdoors and 40% indoors

The Canarian president stressed that the Executive has gone “to the maximum” of what the laws allow and said this rule “is not a subterfuge” or a way to “go against any court.”   He explained that it is an instrument to bring together all the Government agreements reached, over the most recent months of the pandemic, into a single document that is “flexible” and can be modified if the health situation improves or worsens.

The decree law, which was approved on Thursday in the Governing Council, is informed and inspired by regulations already ratified in autonomous communities like the Basque Country and in Aragon.  Over 28 articles, and about 80 pages, the decree document, by law, establishes the use of the mask, safety distances and the measures maintaining the limitation of people at each of the alert levels used to indicate the current situation on each island.

The alert level system, approved by the Spanish Health Council’s Inter-territorial Council, is implemented by each autonomous regional community, according to its specific needs, and will remain in force, but with some updates that will adapt restrictions to the current situation.

Hospitality and leisure

Torres announced last week that on islands in Level 1 (Lanzarote, La Gomera, El Hierro and La Palma), indoor capacities of 75% are to be established for the hotel industry, allowing 100% capacity outdoors, and allowing closing times up to 03:00 in the morning.

At Level 2, indoor capacity will be 50% and 75% outdoors with a closing time up to 02.00am.

For Level 3 (Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura and Tenerife), interior capacity will be restricted to 40% and exterior limited to 75%, with a total closure of the activity no later than 01:00 in the morning.

Finally, at Level 4, interior capacity of establishments will be restricted to 25% – maintaining up to 75% outdoors – and closing times will remain at 01:00, as in level 3.

The new decree law will maintain the same group restrictions that were ratified on Thursday by the Superior Court of Justice of the Canary Islands (TSJC). That is, it will establish meetings of a maximum of ten people at level 1, six in level 2 and four in levels 3 and 4.

The regional president also explained that “nightlife will remain open” in the Canary Islands, something that is only possible thanks to the “high degree of vaccination” in the population of the Archipelago.

Travel

Under the terms set out in the new decree law, vaccination certificates or a negative diagnostic test will be necessary to travel off islands that are at Alert Level 4 for Covid-19.

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