Vitoria-Gasteiz already celebrates the new normal that ends the year and a half of pandemic. A new stage begins, in which the hotel industry, residences, and youth markets are completely back to normal.
There are still some additional restrictions, which have generated an important debate. The most prominent is the prohibition of eating and drinking (except water) during the development of events. Prohibition that, yes, has an important nuance. The Basque Government clarifies that this prohibition does not affect hotel and restaurant spaces, with which it is understood that in concert halls it is possible to consume drinks and food beyond water: “Food and beverages may be sold and consumed in spaces intended for hotels and restaurants, within the same venues.”
In Mendizorrotza and the Buesa Arena you can drink and eat before and after the event, or in the bar area
And, in reality, the concert halls (discotheques) and the bars are in themselves hospitality spaces. Of course, in spaces such as the Iradier Arena, Mendizorrotza or the Buesa Arena, it can only be consumed in the bar area «during the event«. It will also be possible to consume anywhere before and after the event.
Questions and Answers to the New Normal
Below we publish the questions and answers of the Basque Government regarding the new health situation
1. What does it mean to end the Declaration of the Sanitary Emergency situation?
It means that the evolution of the pandemic and, above all, its impact on hospitals and ICUs is no longer critical and therefore a more normalized functioning of social activities can be returned. We thus go from a health emergency situation to a health surveillance situation.
2. What data explain why we move from a health emergency to a health surveillance?
The objectives established in Level 1 of the Bizi Berri IV Plan have been achieved in order to put an end to the Health Emergency and lift the limiting measures for schedules, capacity and structuring of the different activities. Specifically: ICU occupancy of less than 40 beds; Incidence rate around 60 and with a gradual downward trend; and 90% vaccination with a complete schedule.
3. Can we consider this health crisis over and over?
No. This undoubted improvement in the situation does not completely dissipate the uncertainties and latent threats that are concentrated in three points: the unpredictability of the virus due to its high mutation capacity, the vaccination deficit in large areas of the planet and the uncertainty about the persistence of natural or vaccine immunity.
4. What measures are still in force?
By order of the Minister of Health, the following measures are maintained that bind us within the framework of the Interterritorial Health Council:
-Obligatory use of a mask (see below).
-Limitation of the capacity to 80% in closed areas with a capacity of more than 5,000 people.
-Prohibition of ingesting food and beverages during the development of events, except water, both indoors and outdoors. It can only be consumed in spaces intended for hotels and restaurants.
5. What measures are without effect?
The rest of the limiting measures of hours, capacity, and structuring of activities remain without effect
6. Is there any closing time limit for activities and establishments?
The closing and opening hours for the different commercial, social and cultural activities will be adapted to its ordinary regulation of schedules applicable in this regard.
7. Is there any capacity limit in establishments, hotels or shops?
The maximum capacity allowed is restored for all premises and facilities at 100% of their capacity. In all premises and facilities, special attention must be paid to the protocols for accessing and leaving the facilities, especially those with the largest capacity. In any case, it is recommended to maintain interpersonal distances and avoid crowds.
8. Is the ventilation of the premises mandatory?
Yes. All premises and facilities must be ventilated continuously.
9. Is there any limit to grouping people at the hospitality tables? Can it be consumed in a bar or standing up? Can you dance?
The measures that affect the hospitality industry are constant ventilation and the use of a mask. Its use is mandatory at all times, both indoors and on terraces. The rest of the measures have been without effect.
10. Are there any specific measures for gambling establishments, txokos or gastronomic societies?
In the same way that in the hotel industry, the maximum capacity allowed is restored to 100% of its capacity and the obligation of constant ventilation and the use of a mask is determined. The rest of the measures have been without effect.
11. Can the fish markets, youth venues and the like open? In what conditions?
The reopening of fish markets, youth venues and the like is allowed under the same conditions as in other establishments. Especially, constant ventilation and the use of a mask.
12. And in the case of discos and nightlife establishments?
Likewise, 100% capacity is allowed and it is remembered that the use of the mask is mandatory, at all times, except when eating food and beverages.
13. Is there a capacity limit at social, cultural or sporting events?
Social, cultural or sporting events that take place in open venues can be held with a capacity of 100% of their capacity. In events that take place in closed venues with a capacity of more than 5,000 people, the maximum capacity allowed will be 80%.
14. Can you consume drinks or food during the events?
The agreement of the Interterritorial Council of the National Health System establishes that, except for water, the consumption of food and beverages will not be allowed during events, without distinguishing between indoors or outdoors. The Order of the Minister of Health indicates that food and beverages may be sold and consumed in spaces intended for hotels and restaurants, within the same premises.
15. What other conditions must social, cultural or sporting events respect?
In the organization of all types of social, cultural or sporting events, as well as in the set of activities that take place in establishments and places of public use, the guidelines and guides established by the Directorate of Public Health and Addictions must be respected, both for the development of the activity itself so as to order the stay and assistance of the public in conditions that avoid the risk of transmission of COVID-19. The Directorate of Public Health and Addictions will periodically update these guidelines and guides, according to epidemiological evolution.
16. When is the use of the mask mandatory?
The use of the mask will be mandatory for people over six years of age in any closed space for public use or that are open to the public.
In outdoor spaces, its use will be mandatory provided that it is not possible to constantly maintain a minimum distance of 1.5 meters between people, except for groups of cohabitants. Consequently, the mandatory use of the mask extends to all types of urban environments where crowds occur.
Its use in the natural environment is exempt, as long as there is no agglomeration or concurrence with other people who do not live together.
The causes and assumptions of non-enforceability of the use of masks provided for by law in article 6 of Law 2/2021, modified by the first article of Royal Decree-Law 13/2021, will also apply. In such cases, when people are required to prove the exemption from the use of the mask, they must document said situation by means of a document certifying the degree of disability or dependency, or by means of a medical certificate to that effect.
17. Is the use of a mask mandatory in hotel and restaurant establishments?
Yes. In hotel and restaurant establishments and services, the obligation to use the mask is excluded only when eating food or beverages. Otherwise, its use is mandatory at all times, both indoors and on terraces.
As has been said previously, the mandatory use of the mask is a measure that can be applied to gambling establishments, txokos and gastronomic societies, fish markets, youth venues and the like, as well as discos and nightlife establishments.
18. Can I remove the mask while doing sports?
In the development of any sports activity, its use in natural spaces, in peripheral urban environments without the presence of pedestrians, in swimming pools during bathing, in sports competitions between teams (including training) and in extraordinary moments of intense physical activity outdoors is excluded. .
In the rest of sports activities (machine rooms, scheduled activities, courses, etc.) that take place in closed areas such as sports centers or gyms, the use of a mask is mandatory.
19. Is the use of a mask mandatory when using transportation?
The use of masks for people over 6 years of age is mandatory and essential when using any of the means of passenger transport from the beginning to the end of the trip, except in the legal cases of exemption. The use of masks in private transport will not be required if the occupants live in the same address. The professional transport person whose work space is not separated from the public in their own room or enclosed by a protective screen, must also wear a mask during the service.
20. What preventive attitudes should I maintain?
In addition to the use of a mask, constant indoor ventilation, interpersonal distance and hand hygiene. Avoid crowds, participate in vaccination, collaborate with case tracking, and comply with quarantines and isolations.
21. Am I obliged to collaborate in the tracking and traceability of infections?
Yes. People infected and those who have had contact with them are obliged to collaborate in the work of tracking and traceability of the Network for the Surveillance of Cases and Contacts of COVID-19 of Euskadi, for which citizens are urged to take extreme the rigor in answering calls directed by the people responsible for monitoring and supplying all the required information as quickly and accurately as possible.
All persons must comply with the instructions of the authorities or health services, as well as the Department of Health in accordance with the protocols in force.
22. Am I obliged to confine myself in case of being affected by an epidemic outbreak?
Yes. In accordance with the provisions of Article 23 of Law 2/2021, of June 24, on measures for the management of the COVID-19 pandemic, people affected by epidemic outbreaks have a personal obligation of confinement, which must lead to strict compliance with the obligations of isolation, without the possibility of moving or interacting in person with other people, as well as quarantine, in relation to all those other people or group of people who are indicated the suspicion of having could be infected. All of them must comply with the instructions of the authorities or health services in accordance with the protocols in force and the specific situation of each case.