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Government and communities toughen measures given the “worrying” increase in cases without self-criticism by Christmas

The central government and the autonomous communities have given this Wednesday officially shelving the relaxed measures heading into Christmas with a general hardening of restrictions across the country, but without any self-criticism for having raised his hand during the holidays.

Galicia advances the curfew as of Friday at 10 pm, all the hotel industry must close from 6 pm and shops will have a maximum schedule until 9.30 pm.  These measures to combat the coronavirus pandemic are in addition to the recommendations to avoid as much as possible meetings or encounters with non-cohabitants, which are limited to four people in the entire community, and to carry out only activities "essential".

One after another, up to six regional governments –Andalusia, Galicia, Extremadura, Navarra, Cantabria, La Rioja and Murcia– New restrictions have been announced, which will be applied within the framework of their powers but without reaching home confinement, the solution that the experts of Castilla y León or health workers claim as the only viable way to reduce the “worrying” increase in infections, This is also reflected in the number of hospitalizations, ICU admissions and the positivity rate of CRPs. In this scenario, it remains to be seen what effect the British strain variant, already present in Spain although Health insists that “for now” is not the most important factor in the number of cases. This was stated on Tuesday by the director of CCAES, Fernando Simon, and this was corroborated this Wednesday by the Minister of Health, Salvador Illa.

For the moment, the communities also reserve openly claiming the hard confinement of Health, although the Andalusian president, Juanma Moreno, has pointed out that the Government should “shuffle” already this possibility and in Castilla y León the authorities have asked their population to “autoconfine“.

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  • Although even with unequal figures between autonomies, the average vaccination was 52.7% of available doses yesterday and it is expected that at the end of the week it will finish in the residences, to begin to put the second doses from Monday. Illa said that next week Health technicians will decide which population groups will be vaccinated after the elderly, dependents and first-line health workers. Without giving more details, they will be chosen based on the risk of dying from the socioeconomic impact of the infections.

As Illa has advanced, the virus reproduction rate already reaches 5%, when the threshold to start talking about a positive situation should not exceed 1%. This, he said, anticipates “tough weeks, a complicated January“.

Despite this, the central government “does not consider” home confinement like the one that was put in place in the first of last year, during the first wave. Instead, Illa has opted to try to tackle the “significant rise” in cases as was done in the autumn, that is, limiting it to the restrictions that the communities take depending on the evolution of the pandemic in their territories. “We have the experience of having defeated the second wave with a strategy that has worked. If the strategy is applied by the communities, it will have the same result,” he said. Therefore, has endorsed the “drastic measures” that have started to be announced this Wednesday. Your results won’t start to show for about two weeks, he said.

Absence of self-criticism

They were discussed in a new Interterritorial Council in which the self-criticism absent for increasing the number of people who could meet, extending the night curfew on certain days or allowing more mobility between some territories and others for visits by relatives and, in some cases, also close friends. In the subsequent press conference, the Minister of Territorial Policy, Carolina Darias, has asked “individual, collective and social responsibility to stop transmission “.

“Some colleague has made a comment in this regard, in the sense that the measures that had to be adopted with the situation we had at the beginning of December“, Illa has pointed out. Both he and Darias have stressed that in general the citizens followed the indications, but the minister has also added that”there have been cases in which this has not been the case. ”

Again without a shadow of self-criticism, he added that “we knew” that Christmas “would mean an increase in cases” that are already very evident in the current figures of the pandemic, which have put almost the entire country in a situation of “extreme risk”, the most serious phase of the traffic light that the Government and communities created in autumn to determine what measures to take.

In this scenario, Andalusia and Galicia have once again decreed the perimeter closure of each of its municipalities already further reduce hospitality hours or the allowed number of people who can meet, no more than four in the Galician case.

Murcia has prohibited “all social contact without a mask”, Cantabria will close shopping centers on weekends and La Rioja has prohibited all non-essential activity after 5 pm.

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McConnell assured that there is no possibility of a “fair or serious trial” before January 20