Alicante has announced a special COVID-19 unit of 100 agents will patrol the ‘rule of six’ and curfews this bank holiday weekend.
The harsh measures implemented in Spain’s Valencian Community have put an end to any hope of traditional Halloween parties this long weekend.
The provinces of Alicante, Valencia and Castellón received special guidelines last Saturday to reduce any reunion – public or private – to maximum six people, while implementing a 00:00 – 00:60 curfew ahead of the rest of Spain.
But now Alicante town hall has gone further by announcing a special COVID-19 unit of 100 Policía Local agents will patrol city streets this weekend.
Councillor for security, José Ramón González, said anyone breaking social distancing rules will immediately receive fines of a ‘serious’ nature.
The fine structure rolled out last Saturday sets limits of €60-600 for ‘mild’ infractions, but ‘serious’ infractions start from €601-30,000.
Read more about Valencian Community fines in our write-up here.
“We must take extreme sanitary measures with the use of masks, cleaning of hands and distances, and we are not going to allow crowds of any kind,” Ramón González told Alicante daily Diario Información.
“Knowing that we are in a very difficult time, we request residents respect public health, which is the main thing – to avoid new infections – and all do our part so that new restrictions are not imposed.
“We must be aware that all those people who drink on the streets or gather in closed spaces, without masks, are vectors of transmission and go against the health of themselves and their families. Most of the new infections that are occurring are social.”
It comes after data from the Valencian Community’s health department, Sanitat, traced 4 of every 10 infections to uncontrolled parties and alcohol-related activities – read more here.
Remember that Spain has three distinct police forces: the Guardia Civil, organised as a military-style law national enforcement agency for rural areas; the Policía Nacional, which tackles more organised crime but only in cities; and the Policía Local, which is controlled by local governments.
So far only Alicante city has announced ‘serious’ fines for Halloween – but Valencia city has also announced its special COVID-19 unit will put 210 agents on the streets this weekend.
Last week, Alicante COVID-19’s unit busted an illegal cocaine-fuelled gambling den operating behind a secret door in a wine shop – read more here.
More to follow…