The audience wearing facemasks at a concert in Marbella. File photograph. / SUR

Five provinces in Andalucía revert to coronavirus health alert Level 1, and mandatory masks are required for mass events

A new Junta order for public performances or mass events in health districts at alert Level 1 and 2 also establishes "the mandatory use of a mask, even if they are held in the open air"


The Junta de Andalucía has re-established Covid alert Level 1 in all the health districts of five provinces, Cordoba, Huelva, Jaén, Malaga and Seville, after two months at Level 0, although it does so without establishing any capacity limits or opening hours in shops, hospitality, nightlife and other activities after the first meeting of the territorial committees of High Impact Public Health of the eight provinces since 1 December.

The provincial committees analysed the epidemiological data in their respective areas this Friday, 17 December, and decided to implement alert Level 1 in all the health districts of Cordoba, Huelva, Jaén, Malaga and Seville and maintain Level 0 in the three remaining provinces, Almeria, Cadiz and Granada, according to the details published in an extraordinary edition of the Official Gazette of the Junta de Andalucía (BOJA).

The Covid health alert Level 1 will be in force from this Saturday until 00.00h on 28 December, but, unlike what has happened previously, it will not impose capacity and opening hours limitations in the commerce, hospitality and nightlife sectors.

This is established by an order of the Ministry of Health that regulates the specific measures for the containment of Covid-19 in alert Levels 1 and 2 and has removed some restrictions.

The new more flexible measures have no time and capacity limits, and only states that for cinemas, theatres and “establishments for public shows”, "the movement of people through the premises must be organised in such a way that the interpersonal safety distance is respected, the opening of doors will be carried out sufficiently in advance to allow staggered access and the exit of the public must be ensured that it is also carried out in a staggered manner by zones, guaranteeing the safety distance between people, and must be indicated by signage.”

Use of masks at mass events

In the case of public performances or mass events, the new Health Order establishes that in health alert Levels 1 and 2 "the use of a mask is mandatory even if held in the open air" and "independent sectors with a maximum of 1,000 people must be defined, respecting at all times the safety and evacuation regulations", which must "designate an access point to each sector with independent services"although "it will not be necessary to carry out a risk assessment by the health authority". The measure will come into effect on Saturday, 18 December and remain in place until 15 January.

As "concrete measures", the Health Order details that in alert Levels 1 and 2 "the use of toilets, changing rooms, lactation rooms or similar of clients, visitors or users will be in accordance with the authorised capacity, maintaining the mandatory use of a mask, adequate ventilation and establishing the appropriate organisational measures to avoid crowds that prevent the maintenance of preventive and hygiene measures, adequate to prevent the risks of contagion".

It also states: “It will not be necessary to carry out a risk assessment by the health authority for activities, sport trials and events, competition or exhibition that bring together more than 2,000 people (participants and the public) in the open air or in outdoor sports facilities.”

It continues: "In the rehearsals and concerts of music bands, the wind instruments, including their parts, such as reeds or mouthpieces, should not be shared between the different members, being for their exclusive use" while "in trade fairs, conferences, congresses and other professional events, it will not be necessary to carry out a risk assessment by the health authority."