Tuesday 19th January 2021 | MIKE SMITH
“The measures have not been enough. We cannot continue like this and we have to cut off social interaction.” That’s the message from Ximo Puig, president of the Generalitat Valenciana, as he announced new restrictions for the Comunidad Valenciana which include the total closure of bars and restaurants across the region.
The president announced the new restrictions in the face of a record rise in the number of new infections which has been putting pressure on the region’s health service. As of yesterday, more than 52% of the region’s ICU wards capacity was treating COVID-19 patients.
He said that the restrictions which came into effect on January 7th, which included an earlier curfew and the closure of bars and restaurants at 5.00pm, have not had the expected effect after the Christmas period and that social interaction continued to drive the pandemic in an upward curve.
The following new measures will come into force throughout the Comunidad Valenciana from this Thursday 21st January for at least 14 days.
- Bars and restaurants will be required to close their doors to the public, although they will still be able to offer take-away and home delivery services. Hotels bars and restaurants and those at schools and hospitals will open be open to clients exclusively.
- All shops must close at 6.00pm, except pharmacies and supermarkets as well as those which are considered essential.
- All sporting facilities, including gymnasiums, must close, except for professional athletes.
At the moment, the curfew remains at 10.00pm. However, there is a meeting of the autonomous communities tomorrow Wednesday in which the Comunidad Valenciana, like other regions, will be requesting permission from Central Government to bring the start of the curfew forward to 8.00pm.
Full confinement, which Puig regards as an “extreme measure”, cannot be decreed by the Valencian government and it is the responsibility of Central Government to declare such a measure. At this time, it is not expected.
The 29 municipalities which were confined on January 7th will be open for business for midnight tomorrow Wednesday. However, the perimeter closure of the entire region will remain in place until at least January 31st.
Schools and universities will remain open as well cinemas and theatres.
The maximum number of people who can meet and who don’t live together remains at six people.
The president said that “hopefully these measures will be sufficient within 14 days and we will not have to adopt more”, adding that individual responsibility is now required more than ever not to transfer activity from the bars and restaurants to homes.