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In response to a number of outbreaks in the region, the Valencian Government's Health Minister Ana Barceló has announced it is now mandatory to wear face masks at all times on public roads, in open and closed public spaces and in areas open to the public even if social distancing can be maintained. The minister also confirmed that it is now also recommended for face masks to be worn in private spaces, open or closed, if there is a lack a trust between people who don't live together and when social distancing cannot be maintained.

From today, Saturday 18th July, face masks must be worn at all times, even if social distancing can be maintained, on public roads, outdoor spaces and closed spaces open to the public and also on bar/restaurant terraces when not consuming food and drink. The health minister added that only surgical and hygienic face masks must be used. Those masks with respiratory valves are not permitted expect for work reasons.

There are a small number of exceptions which are:

- whilst on a beach or using a swimming pool;
- when visiting natural spaces away from populated areas;
- in bar/restaurant venues but only whilst consuming food and drink;
- people who have declared respiratory problems;
- when engaging in physical activity.

During a press conference, Barceló explained that the decision had to be made after the number of cases quadrupled in the 20-40 year age range in the region and it is this age range which tends to be asymptomatic (i.e. producing or showing no symptoms) and consequently have a false sense of security which results in the virus being spread further, mainly through the nightlife sector. In the past few hours, six new outbreaks have been recorded in the Valencian Community; Burjassot, Valéncia, Manises, Elche and Peñiscola, affecting some 38 people. These are in addition to two outbreaks already detected in Gandía and Santa Pola, both of which had their source in their nightlife areas. As a result, Gandía has chosen to close all its nightlife establishments to curb the spread of the infection and the regional government has warned that it will take similar action to any place which doesn't apply the measures recommended by the health authorities.

Source: Press Release
Date: Saturday 18th July 2020





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