Aragon Opens Its Three Provinces After Four Months Of Closure

It’s official now. Aragon finally opens its three provinces. The president of the community, Javier Lambán, announced this Wednesday that the entire interior of the territory was unconfined , so that it is now possible to circulate freely between Huesca, Zaragoza and Teruel.

The order will be published tomorrow in the BOA and will take effect on Friday . The community, of course, is still subject to restrictions and it is not possible to leave or enter it unless it is for a justified reason (work, educational or clinical reasons and others). The rest of the restrictions remain until the new ones for Easter come into force, predictably on March 26.

This last measure will surely remain in force for several weeks, something that could be certified this Wednesday if, in the Interterritorial Health Council, the Ministry of Health and the communities agree this afternoon on the definitive restrictions for Holy Week and San José bridge.

Data improvement
To date, Aragon is the autonomous community that accumulates the longest time – four months – with its closed provinces, but the substantial improvement in the epidemiological situation in recent weeks has led the Executive to lift the closures.

Lambán has warned, of course, that if the figures go back over the red lines “the necessary decisions will be made again.” “This is not the time to lower our guard,” he stressed.

In fact, the Minister of Health, Sira Repollés , has recognized that “the possibility of outbreaks is real” after the liberalizations of movements between provinces and Easter. For this reason, the counselor has reiterated the importance of “individual responsibility” to face the spread of the virus. Of course, with the similar accumulated incidence in the three provinces, he stressed that “it was time” to open the perimeter confinements.

The head of Health has expressed that “it is in the pipeline” that a new wave could be produced, although she has expressed her hope that with the evolution of vaccination, this will be “much less than the previous ones.”

To date, Huesca has an incidence of 79 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, Teruel, 48 cases per 100,000 and Zaragoza 72 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. Since mid-July, the community was not at such a low incidence.

I remember the more than 3,300 victims
The president has announced the lack of definition of the three provinces in a public appearance from Pignatelli in which he took stock of the first year of the pandemic in Aragon. In it, he wanted to remember the more than 3,300 people who have lost their lives in the community as a result of the covid, and has sent a message of solidarity to their families.

The infections in this pandemic year have been almost 110,000. The appearance starring Lambán and Repollés has begun with the broadcast of an emotional video that can be seen at this link.

Also head of the Aragonese Executive has wanted to send an explicit message to the “sectors” most affected from the economic point of view, such as the hotel industry: “This Government has not forgotten them – he said – and we will not delay. much in announcing decisions that I am convinced will satisfy them. “

However, to repeated questions from journalists, the regional president has declined to specify “for now” what will be the amount to be determined for these direct aid. He has asked “patience”, because the announcement of these subsidies will come “soon”.

In addition, it has recognized that the Government of Aragon does not know how much of those 11,000 million euros announced by Pedro Sánchez for the hotel and tourism sector will reach the community. “I know the same as you, through the press,” he indicated.

In an exercise of self – criticism, he has also recognized that in this year in which “all negative expectations” have been exceeded, “mistakes have been made”, but he has highlighted the disposition of the Executive who presides “to try to correct them quickly.” To this he has added a clear message of optimism: “We are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

The Minister of Health has defended the “transparency” that has governed the management in the community during this first year of the pandemic. “We have always told the truth, even if it was an offense for us, as in summer. We understood that the information was not ours, but of the entire population,” he said.

In addition, he highlighted the importance of expanding the capacity and resources of the health system during this year , with more than 1,800 new contracts. And he has once again acknowledged that in the first months there was a lack of means of protection, “not because of a lack of commitment from the Government of Aragon and Spain, but because the market was broken and it was being sold to the highest bidder.”

Easter week
The Minister of Health has stated what will be the position of the community in the face of the Holy Week holidays. Repollés recalled that the previous document on which all the autonomies work provides for the perimeter confinement of all the communities , where there is “an overwhelming majority” and the curfew at 10 pm. In this regard, Aragón proposes to be more flexible and keep it at 11:00 p.m. , as it is now in the community.

There would also be discrepancies around the number of people that can be brought together in the social and private sphere. Although Aragón proposes to maintain social gatherings in 6 people and 4 in interior tables of the hotel industry, the rest of the communities would bet on more restrictive measures. So far, the counselor has indicated, the final position has not been set.

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