The Interterritorial Council has agreed on a set of measures for the celebration of the next Christmas holidays. The objective is to modify certain customs to guarantee security and control of the pandemic, ensuring the least impact on the development of the festivities. It is a common framework that will help the autonomous communities and the general population to plan a different Christmas without taking away the spirit that makes it one of the most appreciated holidays by citizens.
The reference document indicates that these recommendations require coordination between all levels, national, regional and local, and to work together with municipalities and organizations of merchants, social, cultural and sports agents.
The measures are proposed in a scenario in which the epidemiological situation has a downward trend but with different situations in the different Autonomous Communities and, therefore, may be subject to restrictions that may vary depending on their epidemiological evolution, according to what is established in the document on Coordinated Response Actions for the control of the transmission of COVID-19 and the regulations developed in each autonomous community.
During these Christmas holidays, as specified in the same agreement, messages about prevention measures, including those related to ventilation and outdoor activities, should be reinforced.
Thus, the 6M should always be taken into account: Mask (use of mask as long as possible), Hands (frequent hand washing), Meters (maintenance of physical distance), Maximize ventilation and outdoor activities (keep windows and open doors to the extent that it is safe and feasible according to the temperature), Minimize the number of contacts (preferably always the same bubble) and in case of symptoms, diagnosis or contact of a COVID-19 case “I stay at home” .
Entry and exit in the CCAA and autonomous cities
The agreement states that between December 23 and January 6, the Autonomous Communities and cities will make effective the limitation of entry and exit provided for in article 6.1 of Royal Decree 926/2020, of October 25, except for those trips, adequately justified, which occur for any of the reasons provided, as well as to go to the places of habitual residence of relatives or close friends.
However, in view of the evolution of the epidemiological situation, the autonomous communities and cities with the Statute of Autonomy may establish that this last exception is only applicable on certain days.
In addition, it should be noted that the provisions of this section will not apply in the Canary Islands or the Balearic Islands due to the characteristics of the insularity. In these territories the appropriate measures will be available.
Meetings with family and friends
Regarding family or friends meetings to celebrate Christmas lunches and dinners on December 24, 25 and 31 and January 1, it is indicated that the maximum number of ten people should not be exceeded, except in the case of cohabitants.
In any case, it is recommended that they belong to the same coexistence group. In addition, special caution and care must be taken with people in vulnerable situations.
On the other hand, students who return home for the holidays are recommended to limit social interactions and take extreme prevention measures 10 days before. In addition, they must adhere to the preventive measures applicable in each community and autonomous city. And, once at home, they should limit contacts, respect their conviviality bubble and interact especially outdoors, rather than indoors.
Night mobility and Christmas events
Regarding night mobility on the nights from December 24 to 25 and from December 31 to January 1, the autonomous communities and cities will make effective the limitation of the freedom of movement of people at night provided for in article 5 of the Royal Decree 926/2020, of October 25, being able to determine that the start time of this limitation begins, at the latest at 1:30 a.m. and only to allow the return home. The agreement emphasizes that in no case will this extended hours be used to go to social gatherings.
Regarding the Christmas events, organized between December 23 and January 6, the autonomous communities and cities will not allow the celebration of face-to-face events with a high number of people, unless compliance with the provisions of the document of ” Recommendations for mass events and activities in the context of the new normal for COVID-19 in Spain “.
Likewise, celebrations that can guarantee compliance with hygiene and prevention regulations are recommended, such as static horseback riding
in places where access can be controlled, virtual bells or broadcasts of Christmas events on television or other telematic options.
In general, it will be the health authority that must evaluate the risks of transmission of SARSCoV-2 associated with events or mass activities, anticipating the adoption of appropriate measures to reduce the risk.
Hospitality and public roads
The hotel establishments will follow the rules of capacity and prevention, as well as the rest of the restrictions in force in each community and autonomous city. In particular, indoors, it is specified that adequate natural or mechanical ventilation will be guaranteed. It is also recommended to reinforce the message of using the mask when you are not eating or drinking and avoid eating from the same plate.
In coordination with local entities, it is recommended, in any case, to favor a greater use of the public thoroughfare in the open air so that there are more spaces available for citizens, as well as for the realization of cultural events, activities for children or for the hotel and retail trade, always respecting the provisions above in relation to the celebration of Christmas events with a high number of visitors.
It should be noted that eating and drinking on public roads is prohibited except in the spaces set up for it
Sporting and cultural events
The document specifies that major sporting events cannot be held and, instead, virtual participation modalities are recommended. And, the traditional Christmas activities that are held in cinemas, theaters, auditoriums, circus tents or similar will be carried out respecting the capacity foreseen in the corresponding autonomous community or city.
Whenever possible, the aforementioned activities will be carried out outdoors and always ensuring that the safety distance is met to minimize contact between the attendees.
For their part, religious ceremonies in closed spaces will follow the capacity standards established in each autonomous community and city. It is recommended to avoid chants and use prerecorded music instead. Likewise, physical displays of devotion or tradition (kisses, contact on images, sculptures, etc.) should be avoided, replacing them with others that do not involve a health risk.
The celebration of religious events, such as the mass of the rooster, will not be an obstacle to compliance with the regulation regarding the limitation of the freedom of movement of people at night. For this reason, it is recommended to offer telematic or television services as an alternative.
Trade and transportation
Regarding purchases, the population is recommended to organize them in advance to avoid large crowds in streets and shopping centers. In addition, shops and shopping streets will respect the capacity foreseen in the corresponding autonomous community or city, ensuring the maintenance of the interpersonal safety distance.
During the Christmas period, the convenience of increasing the frequency of public transport schedules to avoid crowds is transferred to the competent authorities, guaranteeing adequate ventilation and compliance with prevention measures, which include not eating and making correct use of mask. However, whenever possible, travel is best done by open-air transport.
Socio-health residential centers
In the section dealing with residential socio-health centers, it is recommended that, in those cases in which residents make a longer outing for Christmas celebrations, these are restricted to a single address and a bubble of stable coexistence.
Upon readmission, it is advisable to carry out a diagnostic test for active infection and the days after it, vigilance and prevention measures will be taken to the extreme.
Coordination with the municipalities
Finally, it is recommended to establish effective coordination with the Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces and the Regional Federations of Municipalities. The objective, to report on the epidemiological situation and to agree on measures to be implemented in the municipalities and that make it possible for citizens to enjoy different Christmas celebrations, with outdoor activities, and complying with prevention measures (6 M) and of limitation of groups of people that are applicable.