The Generalitat Valenciana has published details of a new Resolution which has extended the restrictions imposed in mid-August for a third time, measures which restrict nightlife venues in the region as well as other factors in a bid to respond to the continuing spread of COVID-19 infection.
The details of the extension have been published in Nº 8929 of the Diari Oficial de la Generalitat Valenciana in which it is explained that the latest epidemiological report issued by the Subdirección General de Epidemiología, Vigilancia de la Salud y Sanidad Ambiental has shown that the current situation makes it essential to control the community transmission risk that has been associated with a number of outbreaks in the region and consequently advises that the restrictions brought in on August 17th, and extended twice since, should be maintained in an attempt to control the spread of the COVID-19 disease.
The Resolution, signed by regional health minister Ana Barceló confirms that a third extension of 21 days will be valid from 00:00 Tuesday 20th October until 00:00 Tuesday 10th November with the following measures:
- All nightlife venues such as discos, late night cocktail bars, karaoke bars and dance halls remain closed for another 21 days.
- Bars and restaurants must close no later than 01:00 and venues cannot admit new clients into their premises after 00:00. After this time, consumption outside of the premises must be within the authorized terrace space, sitting at tables and complying with capacity limits. These measures apply every day of the week including fiesta days.
- Bars and restaurants must ensure that the physical safety distance of at least 1.5 metres is maintained between tables or groups of tables and that this distance should be measured between the closest people of different tables or groups of tables. The maximum occupancy of each table or groups of tables will be 10 people.
- Consumption of food and drink at the table should be prioritized although consumption at the bar may be permitted so long as the minimum safety distance of 1.5 metres is maintained between customers or groups of customers; an amendment to the original Resolution confirms that there can be a maximum of 4 people in that group.
- Group consumption of drinks in the street or in public spaces – colloquially known as the “botellon” – is not permitted at any time.
- The Security Forces and Local Police will be called on to cooperate to ensure that the measures are correctly implemented.
- Smoking remains prohibited on the public highway, in public spaces and in outdoor spaces such as terraces where the minimum safety distance of 2 metres cannot be maintained between individuals. This restriction applies to any inhalation device for tobacco, water pipes, hookahs or similar, including electronic cigarettes and vaping.
- Social meetings in private spaces remain restricted to 10 people.
The mandatory wearing of face masks at all times in all public spaces, interior and exterior, was subject of a different Resolution and will remain in force until such time as the authorities see fit to revoke the order.
In addition, the health minister confirmed that Elche, Guadassuar, Onda and Orihuela would be subject to more extensive restrictions lasting 14 days which will reduce social meetings to six people and the capacity of bars and restaurants to 50% of normal authorized capacity. Elche in particular has recorded one of the largest rises in new infections in the Comunidad Valenciana, three-quarters of which have been traced to social situations with just over half of those new cases recorded by the 15-44 year age group.