The mayor orders the cancellation of events that involve an accumulation of people, such as the traditional party of residents dressed as Santa Claus that attracts up to 10,000 people on La Zenia

This year the sandy shores of La Zenia beach will be deserted on Christmas Day. The traditional festivities where residents of Orihuela Costa, mainly expatriates, celebrate Christmas on the sand dressed in hats and Santa Claus costumes while they cook on their barbeques and drink their champagne, will not be held this year after the express ban issued by the mayor of Orihuela, Emilio Bascuñana

He has issued an order prohibiting all activities, acts, meetings and other events that involve crowds of people gathering on all the beaches and bathing areas of Orihuela Costa due to the coronavirus pandemic. From just 27 registered last week to 86 last weekend.

There was no space at all on Zenia Beach with the occasion continuing to grow year on year
There was no space at all on Zenia Beach with the occasion continuing to grow year on year

The mayor says that “it makes no sense to limit the activities of catering establishments, bars and cafes, but to allow the use of the beaches, in such a way that it generates possibilities of transmission and spreading of the virus.”

Bascuñana said that in other years many different activities and celebrations have brought together thousands of people in a festive and family atmosphere, but this year, with the Covid-19 pandemic, ” it is advisable, even necessary, to prevent these meetings from being held, due to the risk of contagion and transmission of the disease “.

The prohibition will continue “until sanitary conditions expressly allow it”, but the City Council is putting special emphasis on the most important days of the Christmas festivities, such as Christmas Day itself, New Years Day and Three Kings. Only events organised by the City Council or authorized by it are exempt from the prohibition.

The City Council says that it reserves the right to even close access to the beaches using bollards or other barriers to guarantee compliance with the order.

The council asks residents to comply with the recommendations, instructions and standards issued by the health authorities to prevent the spread of the disease, which is rebounding in the municipality. “I am confident that this rebound will be contained,” said Emilio Bascuñana, who has asked that “precautionary measures continue to be extreme at these very important dates.”