Ximo Puig, the president of the Generalitat Valenciana has announced that the region will be adopting a night curfew as soon as possible to face a surge in COVID-19 infections in recent days which has seen the number of people hospitalized by the virus almost double during this month.
A grave president explained that, although the Comunidad Valenciana continues to report one of the lowest number of new cases in Spain – currently 142.15 per 100,000 people over the past 14 days – the region is clearly “not well” and steps need to be taken to try to get to Christmas in the best possible condition.
The Spanish Government has already proposed a nationwide curfew but would only do so with the unanimous support of all the autonomous governments; some have already expressed their opposition in an Interterritorial Council held today, a move which has spurred the Valencian government into action. “We want a common position of a national character. It has not been like that and the Valencian Community will make its own decisions,” Puig explained.
The measures would see a night curfew imposed across the entire region between 12 midnight and 6.00am in a bid to stop nightly gatherings of people, both in the street and in private homes, which has been one of the main causes of the recent outbreaks which have seen cases surge in the region. Puig explained: “This is a time slot in which we have detected that there are activities which are not allowed and which are causing contagion”.
Under the new measures, the population will be required to stay off the streets between midnight and 6.00am unless they have just cause, such as work, care of dependents and essential medical reasons. The curfew will remain in place until December 9th, the day after the December ‘puente’ holiday weekend.
Puig confirmed that he has commissioned a legal report from the Generalitat Lawyer’s Office and a resolution from the Regional Ministry of Health with the conditions of the curfew. Both documents will be taken to the Comunidad Valenciana’s Superior Court of Justice for legal validation. Once this has been achieved – it is expected that the legal process will be completed in the next 48 hours – the measure will take immediate effect.
He said: “We are not going to delay a decision that seems necessary to us. We have the time to prevent the situation from worsening. We have the time to return to levels that we worked so hard to achieve”.
Across Europe, countries have been imposing curfews to face the dramatic surge in coronavirus infections across the continent. France has expanded its restrictions to include around two-thirds of its population whilst Italy has slapped curfews on Rome, Naples and Milan. In Greece, Athens and parts of the country with high infection rates have also seen a night curfew put in place.