Monday 27th September 2021 – MIKE SMITH
A number of restrictions have been lifted or modified in the Comunidad Valenciana, which will come into force from midnight tonight, after they were considered and approved by the regional government’s Interdepartmental Table.
The modifications have been described as “a great advance” by the president of the Generalitat Valenciana, Ximo Puig, in the region’s bid to move back towards normality as he announced that the next phase of de-escalation is a result of the responsibility shown by the citizens of the Comunidad Valenciana and the decrease in the epidemiological data, which has improved during the last month.
“We are in a good situation of vaccination, incidence and hospitalization and, therefore, the [regional government] has decided to take a big step forward when it comes to making a safe opening.“
Almost 90% of the population of the region over the age of 12 have completed the vaccination course whilst a third booster shot is being administered to the most vulnerable groups. In addition, fewer than 175 people are currently hospitalized due to COVID-19. The regional government’s aim has been to reach October 9th – el Día de la Comunidad Valenciana – with all restrictions lifted.
The new measures, which will come into force tonight at midnight and will remain in place until Friday 8th October, are as follows:
Bars and Restaurants
The restrictions of the opening hours of bars and restaurants have been lifted and they may remain open according to those authorized by their license.
Interior capacities are increased to 75% of licensed capacity and a maximum of ten people can sit together at a table or group of tables.
The use of the bar is now permitted, although customers must be seated to use it.
In all cases, the interpersonal distance between customers or groups of customers should be maintained as well as all other hygiene and safety measures, including the wearing of mask when not consuming.
The closing time for nightlife venues is extended from 3.00am to 5.00am with indoor seating capacity increased from 50% to 75%. Dancing is now permitted in a preassigned area in the venue only, i.e. the dancefloor, and face masks must be worn at all times and drinks and food are not permitted in that area assigned for dancing.
Negotiations have also begun with nightlife and fiesta sectors for the possible implementation of a COVID-19 passport. Ximo Puig said that “it is a solution to open faster and with fewer restrictions“, explaining that the initiative is already being used in many European countries. However, such a measure would require the endorsement of the Valencian Supreme Court and those of Andalusia, the Canary Islands, Cantabria, Melilla and Galicia have already refused to endorse attempts by their respective regional governments to force customers of bars and clubs to provide proof of vaccination or negative test.
The maximum number of people at sporting events such as half-marathons and marathons is lifted. Gymnasiums and indoor pools can increase their capacities to 75% of licensed capacity.
Spectators at major sporting events such as professional football and basketball are limited to 60% of licensed capacity in open-air stadiums and 40% in closed facilities.
Banquets, Events and Celebrations
Capacities can be increased to 75% of licensed capacity.
All restrictions have been lifted for cinemas, theatres, auditoriums, museums, libraries and fiesta venues.
All restrictions on shops have been lifted.
There is NO CHANGE to the measures regarding the wearing of face masks. Resolution 27 September 2021 of the Department of Health, published in DOGV 9182 / 27.09.2021, confirms that all people over the age of 6 must wear a mask in closed spaces for public use, in open-air spaces where the gathering of people doesn’t allow a minimum distance of 1.5 metres to be maintained, on air, sea, bus and metro transport including private cars if the occupants don’t live together, and in mass outdoor events, standing or seated, when a minimum distance of 1.5 metres can’t be maintained. The exceptions also remain, such as for those with breathing difficulties or with behavioral issues that will make the wearing of a mask difficult.