Local Daily News 4th December

Customers who enter bars and pubs without a covid passport will be fined up to 600 euros

For a month, being vaccinated will be mandatory to access the interior of bars, restaurants, pubs, discos, hospitals or nursing homes in the Valencian Community that have a capacity of more than 50 people. Only people who show a negative diagnostic test or a medical certificate proving that they had covid in the last six months will be spared.

Violating this rule will not come cheap, neither for the owners of the establishments nor for the clients. For the latter, the Generalitat Valenciana has established penalties of between 60 and 600 euros in case of not showing the covid passport or entering the premises in breach of access restrictions. Establishment owners who do not post signs or enable other means to inform customers of the new measures will be penalized with the same amount. These two breaches will be considered minor offenses, according to the modification of Decree Law 11/2020 agreed this Friday by the plenary session of the Consell and published in the Official Gazette of the Generalitat Valenciana.

The Generalitat also foresees a series of serious sanctions, in this case with fines ranging from 601 euros to 30,000 euros, and aimed at penalizing the owners of establishments who do not check the covid passport when allowing access to your clients or that allow the entry of people who do not carry this document. The measure takes effect at dawn today and will remain in effect for 30 days, affecting the Christmas holidays. In addition to showing the vaccination certificate, a negative covid test or the certificate that the disease has been overcome recently, customers have to carry their DNI or any other document that proves their identity. The Ministry of Health has provided an application for the owners of the establishments to verify that the covid passport shown is correct.

The objective of this measure, in addition to stopping possible infections in closed spaces, is to try to get the over 400,000 unvaccinated people in the Valencian Community to get vaccinated. An objective that is being met according to the first dose figures that have been set since the president of the Generalitat, Ximo Puig, announced the requirement for this certificate to enter bars, restaurants, entertainment venues, residences and hospitals.

In fact, this Friday the queues of people who have come to get vaccinated for the first time at the mobile units deployed in different parts of the Valencian Community have been repeated. In the case of the city of Alicante, a unit was once again moved to the Plaza Mar shopping center, where people queued at noon to receive the first dose of the covid vaccine and in Elche the same circumstance occurred in the shopping center of l’Aljub. This Saturday, the mobile vaccination points will travel to Dénia, specifically to the hospital assembly hall, between 9 and 14 hours. Also to Finestrat, specifically to the Carrefour shopping center, between 4:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

The Generalitat already admits the sixth wave has arrived while the rate of infection rises to 212 cases per 100,000 inhabitants

The sixth wave of the coronavirus pandemic is already a fact, as the Generalitat recognized yesterday. The curve continues to rise, after a day in which 537 new cases were registered in the province of Alicante, the highest daily figure in more than three months, since last 25th of August. In addition, the data published by the Ministry of Health shows that the contagion rate has increased to 212.3 active cases per 100,000 inhabitants, 38 more points than in the previous update, on Tuesday of this week.

The number of sick people rises to 3,893, practically 700 more than three days before. The Marina Baixa continues to show, by far, the worst outlook in the entire province, with a rate of 464.37. In this department, 277 infections have been registered in three days, and active cases have risen to 849, 17.3% more than in the previous update of the data. The most extreme situation continues to be that of Benidorm, with 456 affected and an index of 647.27. L’Alfàs del Pi (404.15), la Nucia (357.87), Finestrat (351.96), Vila Joiosa (343.76) and Altea (336.91) also present a very high risk.

In addition, the departments of Torrevieja and Elda are also at extreme risk, with rates of 271.3 and 261.78 and 498 and 496 sick people, respectively. At the local level, in both areas there are several municipalities in a more delicate situation. Villena is the most significant example, with 195 affected and an index that rises to 570.93, the second highest in the province among municipalities with more than 5,000 residents. In the same area, Petrer presents an indicator of 312.49, with 107 patients; yesterday the Ministry of Health reported the appearance of an outbreak in this town, in an educational setting. On the other hand, in the Torrevieja area the worst data corresponds to the homonymous town, with a rate of 321.26. It is followed by Guardamar del Segura, whose index is 290.24.

The health areas of Dénia and Alcoy are not at extreme risk, but they are rapidly approaching it and, at the municipal level, in both there are several localities with rates above 250. The department that encompasses practically all of the Marina Alta is at 225.64 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, and Xàbia, Benissa, Teulada and Pedreguer are at extreme risk, the latter with an index of 380.66. Likewise, the surroundings of the Hospital Virgen de los Lirios in Alcoy are at 218.7 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, but the local data of Banyeres is more than double, 493.65, when just a week ago there were practically no active cases. Castalla and Cocentaina also remain at extreme risk.

There are two other towns with more than 5,000 inhabitants with rates above 250, for a total of 19 in the province. On the one hand, Xixona with 363.42, and on the other, Dolores with 252.29. They belong, respectively, to the Sant Joan d’Alacant and Orihuela areas, whose current indicators stand at 171.9 and 111.9, both with a sharp rise in recent days.

The department with the lowest index is Elche-Crevillent, 106.87, which after these three days has had a more moderate increase. For its part, the Elche General Hospital area is at high risk with 162.13. At the local level, the municipality of Elche has a rate of 146.53, still at medium risk although on the verge of a high risk of contagion. Finally, the incidence in the department of the General Hospital of Alicante is 128.44 (medium risk), and at the municipal level the capital is 143.12, also in a context of moderate danger although with the high risk threshold practically in sight

Hospital pressure increased yesterday for the second day in a row, although without reaching a maximum in recent weeks. According to the Ministry of Health, in the health centers of the province of Alicante there are 146 people admitted with coronavirus, four more than in the previous day. However, the number of patients admitted to Intensive Care has decreased by four patients, standing at 23. At the moment there are 13,362 active cases throughout the autonomous region, 910 more than in the previous day, which means that in a single day there has been an increase of 7.31%. On the other hand, the Ministry yesterday estimated at 4,174,081 people who in the whole of the Valencian autonomous region have the complete vaccination course.

Fourteen municipalities of Vinalopó and l’Alcoià begin to pay their inhabitants for depositing their waste in the ecoparks

Citizens who deposit their waste in the Consorcio Crea’s fixed or mobile ecoparks will begin to receive compensation. It is the first time that this system has been applied in the province of Alicante, which seeks to recognize the work of those who use these facilities so that the rubbish they generate can be properly treated by authorized managers, with the consequent environmental and economic benefit for society. Of the 14 municipalities integrated in the Crea Consortium – Banyeres de Mariola, Beneixama, Biar, Campo de Mirra, Cañada, Castalla, Elda, Monóvar, Onil, Petrer, Pinoso, Salinas, Sax and Villena – already have the computer system to register the nature and the kilos of waste deposited in the Salinas, Sax, Banyeres and Beneixama ecoparks, as well as the three mobile ecoparks that the 14 towns can make use of. A measure that will serve as a pilot experience to apply to the rest of the regions of the province.

As of Monday, the environmental accounts will begin to be generated for those who request them. It is called “Cuenta Crea Economía Circular” and it will have no cost. Its sole purpose is to provide compensation for users of this type of facilities and, for the moment, they may be used in mobile ecoparks and in the consortium fixed ecoparks of Banyeres de Mariola, Beneixama, Salinas and Sax. Both Elda and the rest of the municipalities will gradually join the network. Points will be accumulated in the accounts according to the number, amount of contributions and types of waste delivered and weighed on the scales of the clean points. With all the data obtained during the month of December, the Crea Consortium, of which the Diputación de Alicante and the Generalitat Valenciana are also part, will analyze the most appropriate way to benefit citizens from next year. Predictably in the first trimester. Likewise, during 2022 the contributions of waste from citizens will continue to be recorded to compensate them in the next year. A measure that will be financed with a line of aid from the Council, of between 20,000 and 30,000 euros, to promote this type of initiative in the consortium networks of computerized ecoparks of the Valencian Community.

The amount and method chosen to benefit users is currently under study. Economic formulas for direct or indirect payment or discounts on some municipal rates could be adopted. “It is fair that people who make an effort to select and take their waste to the appropriate facilities are compensated in some way,” said the manager of Crea, Óscar Giménez, explaining that discounts are applied in the provinces of Valencia and Castellón to users in the direct rate that they pay to the Waste Consortiums. However, in the province of Alicante this measure cannot be applied because the consortium rate does not exist and it is the municipalities who pay the Consortia through their respective town councils. Hence the need to find new compensatory formulas for those who deposit more than 40 different types of waste for which there is no specific container on public roads. For example electrical and electronic devices, batteries, light bulbs and fluorescent, coffee capsules, X-rays, batteries, used oils, computer equipment, printer toners, solvents and paints.

The Crea Consortium, chaired by Mayor Fulgencio Cerdán, has unanimously approved the budget for 2022, which amounts to 6.5 million. The most important item is that relating to the disposal of waste at the Villena plant. Different treatment fees have been approved for mixed waste and selectively collected organic waste, the cost of treating these being less than half that of mixed waste. Likewise, the cost of managing and operating the consortium network of fixed and mobile ecoparks has been foreseen.

The bipartisan initiates the procedures to collect a "fee" to enter the castle of Santa Bárbara

The Alicante bipartite has already started the procedures to charge visitors a “fee” to enter the castle of Santa Bárbara, a heritage site of the city that receives around 400,000 visitors a year. This is revealed in a technical report from the Tourist Board, led by the deputy mayor, Mari Carmen Sánchez, in which it is stated that “the approval file for an entrance fee to the castle is beginning.” The municipal government, according to the aforementioned document, pursues two objectives with the entrance fee to access the fortress: “Help finance maintenance” and “allow the generation of an attractive tourist offer that highlights the historical evolution of the fortress, its heritage and the city of Alicante”. The PP and Cs bipartite, contrary to the tourist tax that is debated within the Botànic, has decided to promote the charge for accessing the castle, insisting that it is a common practice in the main historical heritages of other large capitals.

The report where it is revealed that the file to charge an entrance fee to the castle is being initiated in the City Council was drawn up in the Tourist Board, on the 5th of November, to request the Department of Transportation, in the hands of the popular Manuel Villar, the implementation of shuttles so that visitors can go up to the fortress, without having to do it on foot, up the steep slopes, or waiting for the lift to work, since in the last twenty months, it has been in operation for just two weeks. The elevator, after repairing the damage caused by the hail storm of ten days ago, returned to work this Friday.

The technical document of the Board of Trustees states that the outsourcing of the castle’s management, which will cost the City Council about 830,000 euros a year, “makes it necessary to favor accessibility to the castle, which is currently very limited”, since in addition “the influx of visitors is it is going to increase considerably after the start of the revitalization activities”. Furthermore, the report acknowledges that other alternatives have been evaluated to facilitate visitor access: “After several meetings with the Transport technicians, as well as Traffic, Infrastructure and Project Coordination, various actions have been considered and it seems that the most necessary and feasible in the short term is the implementation of a shuttle line that runs throughout the day making a journey up and down to the fortress”.

The bipartisan announced this Friday that there is already a date for the implementation of the shuttles. It will be for Christmas, with the 20th of December as the scheduled day. The local government plans to approve the implementation of the new service next Tuesday at the Governing Board. The minibuses of the new line will have only two stops in the Gómez Ulla square, in front of the entrance of the Provincial Archaeological Museum (MARQ), and in the upper part of the fortress. The new service will have two schedules: winter, between the 1st of October and the 31st of March (from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.), and summer, between the 1st of April and the 30th of September (from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.). The service will remain in the hands of Masatusa, of the Vectalia group, a public transport concessionaire in Alicante. The cost is estimated at 167,408 euros per year, almost 14,000 euros per month.

As for the frequencies of the minibuses, it will be twenty minutes. The service will be reinforced in exceptional cases, such as the arrival of cruise ships in the city. Then the vehicles will be increased to two, which will allow their passage through the stops every seven minutes. In the case of holding events, such as congresses, it is expected that up to five minibuses can operate, which would improve the flow of up to three or four minutes. “Only exceptionally, larger vehicles could be used to meet high-demand needs in a timely manner,” they add.

Left-wing groups criticized the bipartisan party on Friday for the delay in launching the shuttles, which they say has been a “drag” on the tourist image of the Alicante capital.



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