Christmas in Spain: All the latest coronavirus restrictions, region by region
In a bid to curb the spread of the coronavirus, several regions in Spain have announced tougher restrictions over the Christmas holiday period, when more travel and socializing are expected. Under the Spanish Health Ministry’s Christmas plan, which was approved on December 2 by a committee of regional health chiefs, gatherings were limited to 10 people and a 1.30am curfew was set for Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. The plan also allowed citizens to travel to a different region, but only to see family or allegados, a term meaning people with whom there is a close bond, and which has sparked widespread confusion.
But the epidemiological situation in Spain has worsened since December 2, with the 14-day cumulative number of cases per 100,000 inhabitants rising to 214 on Friday. In several regions, the incidence rate now exceeds 250, which is considered by the Health Ministry to indicate a situation of “extreme risk.” This has prompted many regional authorities to introduce tougher rules for the Christmas holiday period.
Here is an overview of what has been announced so far in each region.
The regional government will allow travel between the provinces in the region until January 10. Between December 23 and January 6, travel in and out of the region will also be allowed for visits to see family or allegados. On December 24, 25, 31 and January 1 and 6, the number of people allowed at a gathering will be increased from six to 10. But the regional government recommends that no more than two different household groups attend a gathering.
Between December 18 and January 10, shops and other commercial establishments may remain open until 9pm, while bars and restaurants will be able to open from the morning until 6pm and from 8pm to 11.30pm (1am on New Year’s Eve and Christmas Eve). A curfew will remain in place from 11pm to 6am, with the exception of December 24 and 31, when it will be pushed back to 1.30am.
From December 22 to January 7, residents of senior homes may leave these facilities as long as they have had no symptoms over the previous two weeks and have undergone a diagnostic test up to 72 hours earlier.
On December 24, 25, 31 and January 1, a maximum of 10 people will be allowed in private gatherings. Travel in and out of the region, and between Aragón’s three provinces – Teruel, Huesca and Zaragoza – will be allowed from December 23 to 26 and from December 30 to January 2, but only for family gatherings, not to see allegados, as the term could lead to misunderstandings, according to the health department. In order to travel on those dates, it will be necessary to carry a declaración responsable statement certifying the purpose of the trip, said the regional executive.,Outside of these dates, the regional border will remain sealed, with each province under a perimetral lockdown.
The 11pm to 6am curfew will remain in place, but will be extended to 1.30am on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. Between December 23 and January 6, residents of senior homes may temporarily leave the premises to stay with relatives who have not been diagnosed with coronavirus or are in self-isolation.
Non-essential stores will be able to open until 10pm, bar service will be allowed and restaurants will be able to open at 100% capacity in outdoor spaces and 30% indoors. The capacity of museums, cinemas and other cultural centers will be increased to 50%.
Between December 23 and January 6, travel in and out of the region will be allowed for visits to see family and allegados. In a bid to prevent outbreaks in family homes, visitors aged between 18 and 30 who arrive in the region on these dates and will be staying with seniors over the age of 65 or other at-risk groups, must take a PCR test. On December 24, 25, 31 and January 1 and 6, social gatherings will be limited to 10 people from a maximum of two household groups. Outside of these dates, the limit will be six.
From December 20, visitors who arrive in the Balearic Islands from a region where the 14-day cumulative number of coronavirus cases per 100,000 inhabitants is more than 150 must present a negative PCR test if coming for tourism, or take an antigen test upon arrival if arriving for a justified reason.
On the island of Mallorca, social gatherings will be limited to six people from two different household groups, although both family and allegados will be allowed to get together. The nighttime curfew between 10pm and 6am will remain in place, even on Christmas Eve, although this measure will be revised on December 28. Indoor areas of restaurants will remain closed. Only service in outdoor eating areas and for takeaway is currently allowed, and restaurants have to close at 6pm on Fridays, Saturdays and the days before public holidays.
In Menorca, the curfew is between 12pm and 6am, and social gatherings are limited to six people. In Ibiza, the limit on gatherings is six for indoor spaces and 10 for outdoor areas. In Formentera, the limit is 10 and 20, respectively. The two islands are under the same curfew as Menorca.
From December 23 to January 10, the Canary Islands will be under a curfew from 1am to 6am, which will be pushed back to 1.30am on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. Social gatherings will be limited to six people for most of this period, except on December 24, 25, 31 and January 1 and 6, when up to 10 people from two households will be able to get together.
Tenerife, however, is subject to stricter rules due to the rise of coronavirus cases on the island. The island will remain under a perimetral lockdown until the beginning of 2021. Social gatherings will be limited to four people, except on December 24, 25, 31 and January 1 and 6, when the limit is six from two households. Restaurants are only allowed to open outdoor dining areas, and at 50% capacity.
All visitors to the Canary Islands, except for children under the age of six, must arrive with a negative coronavirus test taken 72 hours before their arrival. The order will remain in place until January 10.
Foreign visitors will need to provide a PCR or TMA test, while an antigen test is valid for travelers coming from Spain. The regional government announced that it would allow foreign visitors enter the region with the faster and less expensive antigen test, but this measure was overruled last week by the Constitutional Court.
Travel to and from Cantabria will be permitted between December 23 and January 6 for visits to see family and allegados. Social gatherings will be limited to 10 people on December 24, 25, 31 and January 1, and to six during the rest of the holiday period. On Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, the curfew will be pushed back from 10pm to 1.30am but only to allow people to return home from family dinners, not for social gatherings.
Since December 12, residents in Cantabria have been able to travel to different municipalities within the region. The restrictions on the hostelry sector, however, have remained in place: service is only allowed in outdoor eating areas, and establishments must close at 10pm.
Citizens will be able to travel to and from Castilla-La Mancha to see family and allegados between December 23 and January 6. The curfew during this period will run from 12pm to 6am, except for Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, when it will be pushed back to 1.30am.
On December 24, 25, 31 and January 1, social gatherings will be limited to 10 people from different households – including children – although more than 10 are allowed if they all live together.
Castilla y León
Travel in and out of the region will be allowed between December 23 and 26, December 30 and January 2, and January 5 and 6, but only to visit family – not allegados. The region will remain under a 10pm-6am curfew, except for December 24 and 31, when it will start at 1.30am. The six-person limit on social gatherings will remain in place, except for Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, when the number will be increased to 10. Restaurants will have to close by 10pm and stop service at 9pm.
From December 21 to January 11, Catalonia will be subject to tighter coronavirus restrictions. Social gatherings will be limited to six people, except for December 24, 25, 26, 31 and January 1 and 6, when the limit will be increased to 10 – but only between members of two different households. The current curfew, which is between 10pm and 6am, will start at 1am on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day and at 11pm on January 5.
Groups of up to six people will be able to gather in restaurants and bars on December 24, 25, 26 and 31, as well as January 1, although capacity will depend on what phase of the deescalation plan the region is in at the time. The hostelry sector will also be able to open until 1am on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.
Catalonia will keep its border sealed, except for visits to see family or allegados. Within the region, each comarca – an administrative area in some parts of Spain – will remain under a perimetral lockdown until January 11. Travel to a different comarca is also allowed if it is to go to a second home with the same household group.
Bars and restaurants can open in two time slots: from 7.30am to 9.30am for breakfast, and from 1pm to 3.30pm for lunch. Takeaway food service will be available until 11pm. Capacity of indoor dining areas is limited to 30%. Gyms and restaurants that are located inside shopping centers will remain closed.
The regional government of Valencia announced last week that the border will remain sealed until January 15. Travel in or out of the region to see family or allegados is banned until this date. Allowances are made for residents returning home, for work reasons or other reasons of force majeure outlined in the current state of alarm.
Social gatherings will be limited to six people throughout the entire holiday period, even on Christmas Eve and Christmas. The curfew will begin at 11pm, except for December 24 and December 31, when it will be pushed back to midnight.
Under new rules announced recently, Extremadura will be under a 12.30am curfew on December 24 and 31, and midnight the rest of the time. On these dates, up to 10 people will be allowed to gather as long as they are from a maximum of two different households. The rest of the days, there is a six-person limit in homes and 10-person limit in bars and restaurants.The region will close its border between December 23 and January 6, but allow citizens to enter and leave if visiting family members (not allegados).
Galicia will seal its border between December 23 and January 6, but will allow visits to see family and allegados. Social gatherings will be limited to six people from different households not including children. There will be a curfew from 11pm to 6am during the holiday periods, which is not expected to change on Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve.
The regional government has set out restrictions based on four levels of risk. Bars and restaurants in municipalities at most risk have to close at 5pm, while those in the municipalities with the best epidemiological situation can open until 11pm.
The border of La Rioja will remain closed, but between December 23 and 26, and December 30 to January 2, residents will be able to enter and leave to see family and allegados. On these dates, bars and restaurants will be able to open until 8pm.
The current curfew from 11pm to 5am will be extended on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve to 1.30am. Celebrations on these dates will be limited to 10 people, save for families that have more than 10 members.
Madrid will close its border from December 23 to January 6, but allow travel to see family and allegados. On Friday, the regional government reduced the limits on social gatherings from 10 to six people from a maximum of two households, for December 24, 25, 31 and January 1 and 6. Regional authorities also called on the public to wear a face mask at all times, except for when eating and drinking, both in homes and in restaurants. The curfew will be pushed back until 1.30am on December 24 and January 1.
Six basic healthcare areas, which are smaller than a district and may include several primary healthcare centers, will be under a perimetral lockdown until December 28 – Andrés Mellado (in Chamberí district) and Sanchinarro (Hortaleza) in the city of Madrid, and Felipe II and Bartolomé González (Móstoles), Getafe Norte (Getafe) and La Moraleja (Alcobendas) in the rest of the region.
The regional government of Murcia is expected to relax restrictions on December 24, 25 and 31, and January 1, with up to 10 people allowed at social gatherings on these dates. The curfew on these days will also be pushed back to 1.30am. Currently, there is a six-person limit on social gatherings, while the curfew begins at 11pm. The region will keep its border closed between December 23 and January 6, with exceptions for visits to see family and allegados.
Navarre will seal its border until January 14, but allow people to enter and leave the region to see family and allegados between December 23 and 26, and between December 30 and January 2. The current curfew between 11pm and 6am will remain in place, except on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, when it will start at 1.30am.
On these dates, a maximum of 10 people, including children, will be able to gather, as long as they don’t come from more than two different households. During the rest of the holiday period, there will be a six-person limit on social gatherings between two different households. Restaurants and bars will be allowed to open at 30% capacity in indoor areas and remain open until 11pm. There will be no limits on capacity in outdoor areas, but no more than four people – or six if there is more than 1.5 meters of distance between tables – are allowed at a table. Takeaway food service will be available until 11.30pm.
The Basque government has ruled out for now toughening its coronavirus rules for the Christmas holidays. There will continue to be a curfew between 10pm and 6am, except on New Year’s Eve and Christmas Eve, when it will be pushed to 1.30am. The perimetral lockdown of the region will be lifted between December 23 and 26, and between December 31 and January 2, to allow trips to see family and allegados. From December 23, residents will be able to travel to a different province within the region.
Social gatherings will be limited to six people over the holiday period, except on Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, when the limit will be 10.
In areas where the 14-day cumulative number of cases per 100,000 inhabitants is above 500, bars and restaurants will remain closed, unless serving takeaway food, which will be available until 9pm. In all other areas, the hostelry sector will open, but bar service will be prohibited.
Ceuta and Melilla
In Ceuta, a Spanish exclave city in North Africa, the regional government has not yet published the Health Ministry’s agreement on Christmas restrictions. Sources from the executive say that travel to and from the exclave will likely be allowed for family gatherings between December 23 and January 6. The current four-person limit on social gatherings may be increased but it is not yet clear to how many. The current curfew between 11pm and 6am is likely to be pushed back to 1.30am on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. These measures will be adapted based on the evolution of the pandemic.
In Melilla, travel in and out of the exclave city will be allowed between December 23 and January 6 for visits to see family and allegados. The current four-person limit on social gatherings will remain in place over this period, except for December 24, 25, 31 and on January 1 and 6, when it will be increased to 10. There will be a curfew between 11pm and 6am, which will be extended to 1am on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.
Read from source: https://english.elpais.com/society/2020-12-22/christmas-in-spain-all-the-latest-coronavirus-restrictions-region-by-region.html
Spain – Gas falls below 90 euros per MWh for the first time in almost two months
The price of TTF natural gas for delivery next month has fallen below 90 euros on Friday for the first time in almost two months and closes a week marked by the decision of the European Commission to cap gas with a drop of 29, 36%.
According to data from the Bloomberg platform, gas closed this Friday at 83 euros per megawatt-hour (MWh), 8.9% less than the day before and the first time it has lost 90 euros since last October 31.
After months of negotiations, the EU agreed on Monday to set a cap of 180 euros on contracts linked to the Amsterdam TTF index with a price difference of at least 35 euros above the average price of liquefied natural gas in the markets.
EU countries agree on a cap of 180 euros for gas with the support of Germany
In a report this week, the Swiss investment bank Julius Baer indicated that the chances of the mechanism being activated are low and pointed out that the chosen formula was not very effective in avoiding the multiplier effect that gas has on the price of electricity. However, he reiterated what was said in other previous reports: “Energy supply risks are minimal and prices should continue to decline in the future” due to the availability of raw materials from Asia to offset cuts from Russia.
Gas tends to fall during the hot months due to lower demand, but this summer it has reached historic heights as European countries were buying to face the winter with their tanks full and reduce their dependence on Russia. The price fell in September and October due to lower demand once the warehouses were full due to the high temperatures at the beginning of autumn, but in November it picked up again and 66% more expensive.
This article was originally published on Público
Spain – The retirement age rises to 66 years
Ordinary retirement at age 65 ends for those who have contributed less than 38 years. In fact, 2023 will be the last year in which this can be done since it will be necessary to have a contribution career of a minimum of 37 years and nine months to be able to retire with the reference age of the last century, since it was established in 1919, and once the year is over another quarter will be added to be able to do it without cuts in the benefit.
This requirement means that to access ordinary retirement at age 65 without loss of pay, it will be necessary to have been working, at least, since April 1985 for those who exercise this right in December 2023 and since May 1984 for those who intend to do it in January.
More than ten million contributory pensioners
In the last decade, and coinciding with the implementation of the delay program, the real retirement age of Spanish workers has increased by one year, from 63.9 in 2012 to 64.8 in mid-2022, according to data from the Financial Economic Report of the Social Security included in the General State Budget.
Contributory pensions will have a historic rise of 8.5% as of January as a result of the disproportionate increase in the CPI, while for non-contributory pensions the revision will be 15%. This review will place the average pension of the contributory system at 1,187 euros per pay, while the retirement pension will rise to 1,365, the disability pension will reach 1,122 and the widow’s pension will reach 847, as a result of applying the 8.5% increase.
The Social Security forecasts point to next year, and while waiting to find out the real effects that the rise may have on the payroll due to its “call effect” to bring forward retirement given the opportunity to alleviate with it the penalties for anticipating it, the number of pensioners will consolidate above ten million, with almost two-thirds of them (6.37) as retirees, to which will be added 2.3 million widows and almost one affected by work disabilities.
This record number of pensioners will place the cost of pensions at 209,165 million euros, the bulk of which (196,399, 93.8%) will be used to pay benefits, including non-contributory ones. Health care has a budget of 1,890 million euros and social services another 3,791, while the remaining 7,144 are dedicated to operating expenses.
On the revenue side, the largest contribution comes from the contribution chapter, which will amount to 152,075 million and will leave the gap with contributory benefits at 36,765.
The imbalance will be covered by a contribution of 38,904 from the Government, to which is added a chapter of others worth 18,116 and which includes everything from sanctions to asset disposals, among other concepts.
Read more of this from the source Público
Spain – Workers protest in Madrid for a wage increase
Several hundred people have gathered to protest on Calle Preciados in Madrid in a day of shop assistants’ strike that was called throughout Spain, but which has had its greatest impact in the Community of Madrid.
This concentration occurs after the agreement was reached in Galicia on December 23 after several days of protests, in which the store employees of A Coruña reached an agreement with the group. Under this agreement, store staff, more than 1,500 people in Galicia, will have a monthly increase in salary bonuses of 322 euros during the first year, 362 euros during the second and 382 euros thereafter.
The secretary of the state section of CGT in Zara and Lefties, Ánibal Maestro, explained that the Inditex workers have decided to “take a step forward against precariousness”.
“The benefits are distributed among the shareholders and directors meeting and we demand a salary increase, so that they realize that the workers are the engine”, he has defended.
For their part, the CCOO and UGT announced this week that they will start negotiating with Inditex on January 25 at the state table on global wage measures that offset the impact of inflation in all group companies and in all territories.
Specifically, the CCOO recalled that in recent weeks, and in coordination with the UGT, the firm chaired by Marta Ortega has been asked to formalize the state table throughout this month to address global aspects of salary policy in all companies of the group and in all territories, bearing in mind both the situation and levels of provincial collective agreements, as well as the impact that inflation is having on the purchasing power of the workforce, as well as the commitment to review and improve the system of commissions for Store staff.
This article was originally published on Público
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