Murcia’s regional government has banned all social contact in both indoor and outdoor spaces between family, friends and acquaintances who are not living together for the next two weeks in an attempt to slow down the spread of the virus.

All social contact without a mask outdoors is prohibited from today in the Region of Murcia as the regional government has decided to stop all social interaction between family, friends and acquaintances who are not living together – except for work or school activities – for the next two weeks, to try to stop the impact of the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic in the Community.

The new decree, which has come into force today, will limit “informal, non-regulated social, family and recreational gatherings”. The only meetings allowed will be those who belong to the same family groups, both indoors and outdoors and also in vehicles. The announcement was made yesterday by the regional president, Fernando López Miras, who clarified that “it will only be possible to share a vehicle to go to work if it is a means of regulated transport and only wearing a mask”.

“We are going as far as our legal system allows us,” Miras said yesterday, adding that this measure is “the closest thing” to confinement: “The decisions we make are aimed at avoiding the nucleus of most contagions. We are telling all Murcians that they cannot be with their loved ones, friends or acquaintances who do not live with them. It is a measure that aims to limit and eliminate those situations from which the highest percentage of infections occur, “he stressed.

Miras again appealed to all members of the Murcian society to be responsible because, when it comes to controlling meetings that take place in homes, “there cannot be a policeman in each house.” He also stated that, although the State Security Forces will be checking that such measures are fulfilled, the population must comply with the rules.

Regarding sports training, meetings in places of worship or cultural events – among which theatre and cinema activities are included, Miras explained that they may be carried out, “as they are regulated meetings in which everyone wears a mask”.

The regional president also explained that there are some exceptions, such as those who live alone, who will be able to ‘join’ a single extended coexistence unit; couples or married couples living at different addresses; as well as children whose parents live in different addresses.

Miras said that the accumulated incidence in the Region is skyrocketing and expressed concern about the state of the ICUs of Murcian hospitals. “The situation in the Region is very worrying.”

He also said that the Contingency Plan is considering opening 500 more beds in hospitals and tripling the number of beds in ICU, up to 350.