PICK OF THE WEEK: Andorra (Pyrenees)

Main places:

Andorra la VellaEscaldes-EngordanySan Julia de LoriaLa MassanaOrdinoEncampCanilloPas de la Casa

Since the report yesterday, Saturday, there have been eight suspected new cases of Covid-19 (C19), of whom one has been admitted to hospital and the rest are quarantined at home. As of 12.30 today the country has 5 confirmed cases and 27 awaiting their test results. The woman of 87 continues to improve.

The Health Minister, Martínez Benazet, says, if you have obvious symptoms do not go to the hospital but either call your GP or ring 116 and a medical team will come to your home to evaluate the situation. That way C19 will spread less and your case could be less of a burden on the hospital staff.

The Government instruction continues to be: stay at home unless going for necessary food, medical appointments etc. They do not want us going for walks either.

From tomorrow on, doctors’ consultations will only be for cases that cannot be postponed. This also applies to physiotherapists, dentists etc. Pharmacies will only sell medicines for non-deferred treatments.

Minister Martinez suggested that, instead of going cross country skiing, healthy people could volunteer within the community. “It’s a battle against an epidemic, with which we should all collaborate.”

In a message on Twitter, the government commented that it is making all the official information on Covid-19 accessible with a new web site: https://t.co/M0CQVlfn7J . There you will find all the answers to all the questions about the regulations and all the communications, decrees and recommendations, in Catalan of course, but if you copy and paste it into Lexicool on Google you will get a pretty good idea of what’s going on.

Ambulàncies del Pirineu will bring basic necessities like food and medicines to people who have difficulties. Ring 358 888 or send a message on WhatsApp, and tell them the basic things that you need. They will then bring them to you outside of working hours.

The French border remains open but French visitors are being told as they arrive about the new regulations that apply in Andorra.

The government spokesman, Eric Jover, is grateful for the number of volunteers who have stepped forward. That said, he recommends that those who are available send their requests to the Volunteer’s register: [email protected] to avoid possible contagion.

He also said that the numbers of enquiries made to 188 has risen to 1,618. They now have a specialist available for all those with work-related worries.

Young Andorrans from the La Massana’s Comissió de Festa de La Massana are offering to help those in the most vulnerable sectors such as the elderly or with health problems, to go shopping and to collect medicines. If you need help call Claudia 629 372 or Carla 658 200 or email [email protected]

They all request that you do not leave large objects for recycling in the street.

Escaldes-Engordany has placed an excellent ad on Facebook. Under the hash tag #quedatacasa (stay at home) they show the backs of three policemen standing in the middle of the road stopping all the traffic. Then underneath it says “Nosaltres no podem sigui responsible.” (We cannot be responsible). In other words: Stay at home.

RTVA television on Twitter
The sale of alcohol and tobacco is being restricted to relieve pressure on the supermarkets that remain open. They can only be bought by Andorran residents and tobacco is restricted to one carton per person per day.

Open from 9h – 14h but whenever possible please bank online or at ATM machines. (See below re toothpicks.)

They are reinforcing their connectivity to guarantee working on line and from home.

The Spanish border is partially closed. You cannot go across for leisure reasons but you can go for medical appointments, to return to your home, for buying necessities, visiting your bank etc. All merchandise, including food and medication, is however passing freely.

@XerpaAndorra is back in business delivering food, with minimum contact, between the restaurants (which are still cooking behind closed doors) and people’s homes. Check with your favourite restaurants to see if they are catering for home delivery and brighten up your day.

They have sent out a message over social media, on civil responsibility, to mountain skiers who decide not to stay at home during the crisis. “We ask and recommend to you not to go out for mountain activities during this time of crisis. Anything could happen, and at this time, we must avoid burdening the health service so that those with the virus can be treated. In the past two days we have seen a number of people at the ski stations when the government instruction is quite clear: Stay at Home.

There is also talk that, under the present circumstances, mountain accidents will not be covered by insurance.

GENERAL FEEDBACK and clarification from yesterday.
Stay at Home. I have been asked whether, when I said “Stay At Home” we were all actually being officially quarantined. The answer is No, but the Government spokesman, Eric Jover specifically asked everyone to stay at home unless they had urgent business. This was a ‘strong’ request and he said if people didn’t obey then he would have to bring in more stringent measures such as banning all unnecessary driving. Where I live, above the Anyós/ l’Aldosa road, there has been a major reduction in traffic and, looking across the valley at La Massana the same applies there. The instruction also means they do not want us to go for walks.

A friend from Japan has told me she cannot understand why none of us wear masks as everyone in Japan does. I think it is felt that there are few masks available at the moment and that they should be reserved for hospital staff. I have heard that masks do serve the purpose of stopping us from touching our faces and mucous membranes, through which the contagion is carried into our bodies. There are videos on line showing how to make them at home. However their usefulness as general protection against C19 appears to be debatable. Wash your hands!

Every night at 20h people are going to their open windows or out on their balconies to give a round of applause to our dedicated health workers.

In China, where they seem to have got the virus pretty well beaten, they use disposable toothpicks to press buttons such as on lifts and ATMs and front door entry buttons. Copper too is said to carry germs for far less time than other metals.

Take care. Stay well. Stay Home!

Culturally yours,



Look for about the author of the blog Clare Allcard


Look here for the whole blog “Cultural events in Andorra with Clare Allcard”

See also Andorra travel guide

See also Pyrenees travel guide

See also France travel guide

See also Spain travel guide

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