Spain’s Costa Almeria resort Roquetas de Mar aiming to be first officially coronavirus-free town

BEST MOVE: The plan is the “key to a recovery of the local economy”, according to the Mayor. CREDIT: Ayuntamiento de Roquetas de Mar Facebook @AytoRoquetas

ROQUETAS de Mar is aiming to become the first town officially free of Covid-19.

Mayor Gabriel Amat announced today Friday at a videoconference meeting with the spokespersons of all the municipal political groups that the council is aimed to gain a stamp representing full guarantees and a continuous inspection system in every premises, business and area of Roquetas.

“We have asked the health authority, which in this case is the Junta de Andalucia, that they study this, and if possible, that they authorise us to carry this out and that we can invest €4 million of the municipal budget in this ambitious plan”, the Mayor told them.

“Our intention is that Roquetas de Mar is declared a safe town with the best guarantees, both for our population and for possible visitors, who will have complete assurance that the spaces, businesses and hotels which they visit are checked at all times and are free of Covid-19.”

According to the Mayor the plan would be “the best help which as an administration we can give to local businesses and the key to a recovery of the local economy.”

The local authority is he explained working with a health strategy consultancy on the first phase of the project, with a view to taking immediate action for the summer. This involves setting out the necessary health protocols for different sectors and types of activities “so that all municipal citizens and business owners are clear on the measures which have to be implemented to get international certification.”

Once finalised, a team of 30 inspectors “will go from business to business, hotel to hotel and restaurant to restaurant certifying compliance with these measures in order to award them the corresponding stamp”, Amat continued.

At the same time, and before issuing the safety certification, all business owners and staff dealing with the public will be tested, he said.

“Hence when a Roquetas resident or visitor sees that an establishment had a safety stamp they can have the full guarantee that whoever serves them is completely healthy.”

The inspections on all public access spaces would then be repeated every 10 to 15 days.

The plan also envisages three medical centres specifically for dealing with Covid-19 in the municipality: one in Aguadulce, one in Roquetas and one in the Urbanizacion, each with a doctor and health experts at all times. These centres would also carry out the testing of the population.

“Our intention is for more than 100,000 diagnostic tests, practically the whole of Roquetas’ population”, Amat revealed.

Then in the second phase there would be an epidemiological study to identify who has had the virus and control infection cases “in order that in future waves or outbreaks we are in a position to control the incidence of this terrible pandemic in our town and in our residents.”

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Written by

Cathy Elelman

Cathy Elelman is the local writer for the Costa de Almeria edition of the Euro Weekly News.

Based in Mojacar for the last 21 years, Cathy is very much part of the local community and is always well and truly up on all the latest news and events going on in this region of Spain.

Her top goals are to do the best job she can informing the local English-speaking community, visitors to the area and the wider world about about the news in Almeria, to learn something new every day, and to embrace very new challenge this fast-changing world brings her way.

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