Wednesday, August 4

The Basque Country limits its restrictions to the new wave to close the bars at 1.00 and not at 2.00


More than half of the autonomous communities have proposed to return to the curfew and three of them have obtained judicial authorization to do so, Catalonia, Valencia and Cantabria. Euskadi, on the other hand, does not risk a new judicial setback and remains for the next few weeks in minor adjustments in terms of capacity and schedules to fight against a wave of COVID-19, the sixth of the pandemic, which is leaving records daily infections but which, due to vaccination, keeps hospital pressure contained, although on the rise. The big change is that the bars will close not at two in the morning, but at one. In general, all activities will close at that time. The authorities also insist as an argument that it is not that there are no measures and that a good part of the transmission would be cut by strictly applying the existing ones, for example the use of a mask on the street when there are no distances, emphasizing the obligation in areas Urban “busy”. They also add to the prohibitions a broad catalog of recommendations, defined as “civic appeals.”

What is the Labi? Who is who at the crisis table of the health emergency in Euskadi?

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The measure of the hospitality industry and of all activities is accompanied by a retouching of the capacity from Monday, which is reduced to 35% as a general rule. The rest of the measures come into force before the weekend and their validity is indefinite, with “daily” evaluation in the face of a very “changing” situation, to the point that adjustments are not ruled out if necessary, even with telematic meetings of the table. crisis of the health emergency, the Labi. As for spectators in the activities, there will be 400 indoors and 600 outdoors in the case of cultural, sporting or similar events, although there may be 600 and 800 in pavilions with up to 5,000 seats and 20% and with sectors of no more than 1,000 people and independent entrances in the larger ones, the assumption in which the football stadiums would enter.

The wording of the masks affects the obligations more than the exceptions, although it does not alter the essence of the current system. The mask is always mandatory unless the distance of one and a half meters is ensured outdoors. Thus, it is expressly stated that “it extends to all types of busy urban areas such as old town, commercial and shopping areas, markets, flea markets or areas where hospitality establishments are located, as well as in all spaces and promenades, in playgrounds, sidewalks, pedestrian crossings, squares or streets with crowds of people “. There is also an impact on the fact that it must be worn on walks on beaches and swimming pools.

“Excessive relaxation is our worst action criterion. This is not over. Summer is here and the virus is too. A criminal virus. The vaccine is a great help, but we can catch and spread. Let’s continue to comply with preventive measures: mask , distance and avoid crowds. We need one more effort, “Urkullu emphasized before the media. And he has asked as a “civic appeal”, as a voluntary curfew from one in the morning, a maximum of six people in groups and meetings and more collaboration with health services in terms of confinements.

This Thursday afternoon the Labi met for the thirty-first time. The sources consulted insist that the crisis table faced the meeting with “very little margin” to adopt restrictions, as the technical committee that advises it has stated in a previous meeting. With incidence rates like the current ones, the anti-pandemic law in force since June 24 foresees measures of greater significance, such as the night curfew or even perimeter closures. But those more severe measures are subject to the state of alarm, according to the wording of the text itself.

Without mentioning that term now under discussion after the ruling of the Constitutional Court in which the state of exception prevails to order confinements, this week, the lehendakari, Iñigo Urkullu, requested by letter to President Pedro Sánchez “urgent” measures to act in this area , although it has not received a formal response beyond the reminder that the autonomous communities have the tools to act. Euskadi, on the contrary, feels that it has neither security nor legal guarantees to act like the communities with a curfew.

The Urkullu government could have also tried to request judicial authorization of the night time limitation. However, it is interpreted in its environment that the previous jurisprudence of the Superior Court of Justice of the Basque Country closes the door to any regional decree that touches fundamental rights without a state of alarm. Any attempt is considered futile and Urkullu has renounced the judicial battle for some time, even resorting to a higher instance such as the Supreme Court to clear up the discrepancies. In addition, it is emphasized that although the incidence rate is at an alert level of 5 out of 5, that of hospital care has not moved from the 1 of 5 scenario.

That same anti-pandemic law provides for the mandatory use of the mask at all times and places, also on the street, but here it is subject to the general provision adopted precisely on June 24 by the Government, as interpreted by the Basque Government. Urkullu also demanded that the Sánchez government once again increase the use of masks except in natural areas, but the norm was validated in Congress. The PNV did not object but seconded it and abstained.

Two weeks ago, Labi underestimated this new wave, which is the sixth in the Basque Country after those of March, August and November 2020 and those that in 2021 followed Christmas and Easter. Urkullu himself assured that the incidence rate was not going to consolidate above 300, when now it is more than double and they are two consecutive days of daily highs of positives. At that time the incidence was growing (it was at 250 and now it is close to 700) but the healthcare pressure was low and stable, so it was decided not to harden any measure and postpone any review to July 22. In the middle, last week, a ‘sui generis’ measure was activated to limit nighttime activity without a curfew. Without a formal meeting of the Labi, a limitation of groups of non-cohabitants from 00:00 to 06:00 was approved for the weekend. Its application and effectiveness raised controversy and doubts and it is unknown what practical scope it has had, because it does not impede neither mobility nor, for example, consumption in hospitality.

In our interactive specials, you can consult all the data on the evolution of the pandemic in Euskadi, Over the positive and deceased in each and every one of the residences in Álava, Bizkaia and Gipuzkoa and the advance day to day of the vaccination campaign. We also have maps with the most prominent shoots.





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