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COVID-19 passports and early bar closures extended in Spain’s Murcia region

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MURCIA’S current COVID-19 restrictions will be maintained until February 4.

The region’s Superior Court has approved the extension of the measures which were due to expire this Friday night.

Indoor capacity for hospitality and nightlife businesses will be a maximum of 75%.

Dancing is not permitted and table maximums stay at ten people indoors and 12 outside.

Non-essential businesses will remain closed between 1.00 am and 6.00 am.

Regional health chiefs reported two consecutive days of infection rate falls after big rises over seven days.

The trend appears to be line with similar patterns in some parts of Spain that tentatively suggest the latest pandemic wave may be close peaking.

The delay between infection rises and subsequent hospitalisations mean the pressure on Murcia hospitals continues to increase but at substantially lower levels than a year ago.

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People who threaten bars and restaurants for enforcing COVID passports will be prosecuted in Valencia region of Spain

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PEOPLE who threaten bar and restaurant owners over COVID passports could face prosecution in the Valencian Community.

Regional president, Ximo Puig, said he’s contacted the Prosecutor’s Office following reports of intimidation and coercion against businesses in Castellon Province.

Indoor access to hospitality is only permitted by producing an EU COVID certificate until at least January 31.

Covid Passport In Use In Valencia, Spain 04 Dec 2021
PASSPORT CHECK IN VALENCIA (Cordon Press image)

Traders in Nules have reported a group calling themselves ‘Accion Burriana-Nules’ appearing at businesses in the town and threatening owners over COVID passports.

Nules Hoteliers Association vice-president, Alberto Mendo, said: “These people don’t even wear a mask and are coercing out members by telling them that requiring a COVID passport to enter establishments is illegal.”

Mendo says he has spoken to the police who told him that formal complaints need to be filed if the intimidation is repeated.

“It is an exceptional situation and if we want to remain open, we have to request the COVID passport,” he added.

Valencian president, Ximo Puig, has promised to support the hospitality industry if they suffer any form of coercion.

GVA.ES: Ximo Puig anuncia la prórroga de las medidas vigentes para frenar la pandemia de COVID-19 hasta el 1 de marzo
XIMO PUIG (Generalitat Valenciana image)

Puig said: “We want to send a very clear message to the sector that if they have a problem with citizens who reproach them or try to threaten them for requesting the COVID certificate, then they should immediately notify the police”

“They are complying with measures that have been endorsed in court and the government will always be on their side,” Puig added.

“The government is going to defend those who defend legality. Those opposed to the measure have the right to think in the way they want, but not to obstruct compliance with the law,” he concluded.

Protest Against Covid Passports In Barcelona, Spain 25 Dec 2021
XMAS DAY ANTI-PASSPORT PROTEST, BARCELONA (Cordon Press image)

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Granada’s most talked about restaurants and bars of 2021

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CONSIDER this your go-to source for the best restaurants and bars in Granada.  

We’ve have had the pleasure of eating out at Granada’s finest spots and now we want to show you our foodie bucket list – the ultimate guide to bars and restaurants in Granada. 

We’ve thought long and hard over our top picks, and there were a few local favourites who just missed the cut – such is the wealth of culinary talent in Granada right now.

From hidden gems to the fanciest dining rooms, tapas to tea rooms, read below for top restaurant picks in Granada right now!

We’re guessing we may have missed a few of your favourites off the list – so if you’re in the mood to fight it out, leave a comment with us on Facebook. 

Teahouse Abaco Te in Albayzin

Picking one tea room in Granada is impossible. There are half a dozen delights that are integral to the city, but the truth is, even if you don’t love tea or coffee, heading up to the Albaicin for a pot of something hot is essential. We love Abaco Te, stripped-down, barely-lit dive with incredible views of the Alhambra and a good playlist.

Bar Pibe 

Acting like a guiri and heading to Sacramonte is too predictable, right? Except that even with all the lore—the ghosts of gypsies and hippies, the occasional scene, the eternal tourists—it’s never boring. You can douse yourself in the atmosphere and history, but the myth of the place never gets in the way of your experience. Bonus that it’s walking distance from the stunning Los Chumbos, where you can get one of the best views of the city at sunset before grabbing a drink at Bar Pibe. Our tip? Order the Verdejo. 

Bar Candela

You don’t technically have to drink the vermut (a boozy drink made with white wine and spices that tastes a little like thick kombucha), but if you do, you’ll make friends faster. Be warned, this place is a touch gritty and wild: The walls and ceiling are covered in paintings reminiscent of bad hallucinogenic trips. But a Sunday afternoon here is a ritual to residents of Realjo. Bust out your Spanish phrasebook because there will be no other guiris. Oh, and don’t use the toilets.

Bar Aliatar

Walking Calle Triste, is always scenic, regardless of tourists and study-abroad students. Those students follow the winding roads up to Sacramonte and dance the night away at El Comborio. But we recommend heading up towards the Albalcin instead where you can hide with a book and a plate of spicy snails at Bar Aliatar. 

Saint Germain.

Worth the hunt to find it. When you see a crumbling alley that looks like you should not walk down it, turn there. There might be a small crowd of people at the end of the street, waiting to get into Saint Germain. Stepping straight off on Gran Via into this sophisticated, glowing space with traditional twinkling fairy lights, delicious vermut, and some of the best free tapas in the city  feels like being lost in a dream.

Vino y Rosa

Looks like you’re walking into a quaint Abuela’s home deep in the vibrant neighborhood surrounding the Cathedral. You’re actually walking into one of the best tapas bars in Granada, family-owned with a focus on fresh produce bought daily from the market across the street.  This is a sliver of a space with adorable pastel colours and atmospheric lighting that fronts a serious kitchen with a constantly changing menu (think fois gras and mango on toasts served with fresh cod and artichokes). 

Bodegas Castaneda 

We adore the faded corner bars that anchor the old town,  the ones that time forgot with jamon hanging alongside the wine glasses. No frills, everyone knows each other, and then around midnight, things get rowdy.  Come to taste some of the best local wines Granada has to offer or try the ‘palo cortao’ – a Spanish aperitif, similar to cherry, served on ice with an orange wedge—the perfect beginning for a tapeo.

El Trillo 

A luscious garden, ultra-fresh menu and delightful staff, El Trillo is hidden in the Albacin hills and boasts one of the best views of the city. 

Bar Tana 

Named after their mother, Tana is run by a brother and sister duo with a passion for wine and simple but delicious tapas. The bartenders will pretend they don’t speak English, but don’t take it personally. You’ll also never get a table, so try and grab one of the high seats that snakes around the outside of the building. This is our ideal drinking and dining experience: an eccentric natural wine list, fabulous food, a bar where you can sit alone and be absorbed into the hustle and banter–you don’t even need a book.

Restaurante Carmen el Agua 

High class dining with a view. This is where you take your one true love. Jawdropping views of the Alhambra, an intimate atmosphere with a food menu to die for. Everything is a production, from the smoking cocktails to the cream-heavy deserts. If you are not in love before you arrive here, you certainly will be when you leave. 

Special mentions 

If you are into indie music we have a legendary tapas music tour. Start at Eric’s Bar on Calle Escuelas, then onto Bar Provincias before finishing up at the intimate and delightfully sticky Bar Soria. We’ve been lucky enough to visit this route multiple times and we can tell you why it is the quintessential music tapas tour: 1. Fantastic signage. 2. Incredible music 3. Consistent drinks, consistent alcoholics. 4. Pool table/jukeboxs. 5. Bar grime meets the smell of the salty salchicha.

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Hospitality and non-essential businesses ordered to close each night at 1.00 am starting on Christmas Eve in Murcia area of Spain

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THE Murcia region has rushed in a new set of restrictions ahead of Christmas which results in all non-essential businesses having to close between 1.00 am and 6.00 am.

The measure takes effect this Friday at midnight.

The closure notice will hit late-night seasonal celebrations at bars, restaurants and nightclubs.

The restrictions will run until at least January 14.

Indoor nightlife capacity has been raised to 75% which is the same for the hospitality sector, but an EU COVID certificate will have to be presented by clubbers.

No dancing will be permitted either.

Capacity levels will also vary between Murcia municipalities, depending on local COVID-19 infection rates.

Table restrictions have been introduced with indoor groups allowed a maximum of ten people, going up to 12 outdoors.

People attending any public events and parades must remain seated and that rule also applies to anybody eating or drinking indoors or outdoors.

In other words, people walking in the street enjoying a takeaway snack will be breaking the law, and would find it impossible to legally do so with the new national mask mandate coming into force this Friday.

The Murcia Health Ministry is also recommending that no more than ten people attend any private gathering over the Christmas and New Year holiday.

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