Friday 27th August 2021 – PRESS RELEASE with Mike Smith
The regional health secretary, Ana Barceló, has reported on the current situation of the coronavirus pandemic in the Comunidad Valenciana and has revealed that specific modifications are going to be made to the last resolution published by her department on August 14th which affect measures related to celebrations, events and the gathering of people and, in particular, the holding on popular fiesta events.
She announced that “it will be possible to carry out popular celebrations, parades, traveling shows or similar in the Comunidad Valenciana as long as a series of health safety conditions are strictly complied with, which will shortly be published in the DOGV“. There measures will include the mandatory use of a face mask at all times, even outdoors, the guarantee of a minimum interpersonal safety distance of 1.5 metres and limited to activities that avoid any type of gathering. Thus, it is expected that traditional programmes will have to be modified if the required protocols cannot be guaranteed. The health secretary added that “open-air communal dinner-dances, mobile discos, karaokes and the like will remain prohibited as will dancing, both indoors and outdoors.
Barceló explained that “at the moment, the Comunidad Valenciana is on the right track in the fight against the pandemic and vaccination is progressing at a good pace, but we cannot relax the least bit”.
It should be noted that, apart the modifications announced by the regional health secretary, all the restrictions announced in the last resolution of general measures remain in force as well as those authorised by the Valencian Supreme Court which limit the number of people who can meet together and impose a night curfew in 68 of the region’s municipalities.
With regards to the hospitality sector, bars and restaurants must close their doors at 00.30am and that the maximum number of people per table (or group of tables) is six inside the premises and ten people on an outside terrace. The capacities of these areas are 50% inside with a minimum distance of two metres between tables, and 100% on the terraces with a minimum distance of 1.5 metres between tables. The regional health secretary explained that “any activity similar to that of the bar and restaurant industry, which is carried out by fiesta associations, must scrupulously comply with the regulations in force for the sector“.
Thus, she appealed for prudence and responsibility. “The pandemic has not ended and we must act with common sense and responsibility, so popular fiesta events cannot be held like we are used to. We will have time for them”.
Epidemiological Situation of the Comunidad Valenciana
Barceló recalled that a meeting was held last May with the representatives of fiesta associations and groups to announce that, depending on the epidemiological situation, popular fiestas events and fallera activities could take place from September 1st.
As of September, the number of vaccinated people in the Comunidad Valenciana will have increased considerably, with 87.1% of the population to have been immunized with one dose and 74.8% have completed the required programme. In addition, 94.7% of the population over 40 years of age has received at least one dose and 92.3% have completed the course, above the average for Spain.
Regarding infection spread, the 14-day IA rate has dropped 221 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, which is 55 points lower than the average for Spain, and only two autonomous communities – Asturias and the Canarias – have a lower rate.
The health secretary said that “the data is positive” but insisted that “we must continue to be very cautious, since we cannot forget that the Delta variant, which has a much higher transmission capacity than the previous ones, is widely predominant in the Comunidad Valenciana to the point that it is responsible for 95% of infections“.
She finished by saying that “children return to school on September 8th so we just still exercise extreme caution to protect ourselves to protect the little ones”, adding that “it depends on all of us that the effort that we are making, which translates into the improvement of the situation, is maintained to put a stop to this virus that has changed our lives“.