Faced with the current scenario, the City Council has announced for the day of Santa Faz a “broad device” with 350 local police to “guarantee compliance with health and security measures,” as explained by the councilor, in a ceremony in which he was accompanied by the trustees, Mari Carmen from Spain and María Conejero; the Councilor for Security, José Ramón González, and the chaplain of the monastery, José Luis Casanova. The deployment will also have the participation of the National Police, the Civil Guard and agents of the local bodies of municipalities such as El Campello and Sant Joan d’Alacant, as well as SPEIS firefighters and Civil Protection volunteers.
Barcala recalled, on the other hand, that the monastery will remain closed during the morning of Santa Faz, since The Relic will be transferred to the castle of Santa Bárbara for the triple blessing of the city, which will be accompanied by a ringing from all the bell towers of the city of Alicante. The tour will be done by “fazmóvil” and will be escorted by the Police. The entrances to the fortress will be cut off to avoid the public. The “Test of Keys” is scheduled for Tuesday, two days before the day of the Holy Face.
The Official Mass will also be “closed”, which will be officiated by the bishop, Jesús Murgui and will be celebrated at 10 am. It will be broadcast via streaming. The temple, in addition, will extend its hours to avoid crowds from this Friday until Sunday, April 18. Thus, the monastery will remain open from 8.30 am to 8.30 pm, except for exceptions. More than fifty volunteers have volunteered to help with the temple’s capacity measurements.
Regarding the blessing, the vice president of the Generalitat, Mónica Oltra, despite assuring that she was still unaware of the protocol for the transfer of the Holy Face, affirmed this Friday that, in any case, it must comply with the regulations that regulate capacity and assistance due to the pandemic. The spokesperson for the Consell said that “it would be part of magical thinking to think that attendance can be reduced”, in the same way that it would happen in Valencia if the Offering to the Mare de Déu dels Desamparats were to be made without crowds. “The Alicante proposal must be framed in what the health authorities dictate,” Oltra concluded.
The security device will end next Sunday, April 18. On the day of the Santa Faz the area of the Caserío and the beaches will be controlled with drones to avoid large bottles and crowds of people. The operation will be divided into four areas: Santa Faz, beaches, leisure areas and terraces, as well as the castle of Santa Bárbara for the blessing.
On Pilgrim’s Day, the Local Police will control all accesses to the village from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., and to Denia Avenue and the N-332 route with fixed and itinerant patrols. A capacity control will be established at Plaza Foglietti. The Councilor for Security, José Ramón González, stressed that “the Police will avoid alcohol consumption with an anti-bottle plan in Santa Faz from 10 am to 10 pm, mainly on the beaches of San Juan, Almadraba, Albufereta, Postiguet and Urbanova ». For this device, “dozens of vigilances” have been planned at the accesses to the beaches and the TRAM stops, checking backpacks to avoid alcoholic beverages.
The Moors and Christians of San Blas, suspended until July 2022
The Moors and Christians troupe association of San Blas decided last night to suspend the 2021 festivities and postpone the events until July 2022. This was decided in a vote that left no doubt: with 30% participation, 99% of the festivities endorsed the proposal of the Board of Directors to suspend the festivities of 2021 and transfer all the planned acts to the month of July 2022, respecting the captaincies, alferecías and other positions foreseen for this exercise. “The continuation of the climate of uncertainty and health insecurity due to the pandemic, together with the impossibility of optimally developing the previous organization and planning work, has led to this painful measure,” they explained.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.