FESTIVE holiday plans to reduce curfew times have been scrapped as new COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the Valencian Community.

The regional government reversal follows increasing coronavirus numbers in the area which now has the fifth highest new case rate in Spain.

A new package, announced last night(December 17) by Valencian president, Ximo Puig, goes even further than current rules with people unable to see in Christmas or the New Year in a bar or restaurant.

Ximo Puig said; “The health of residents must take priority. I am sorry that after four days of new COVID-19 infections exceeding 2,000 cases, we have been forced to make these changes.

The midnight curfew is brought forward to 11.00pm from December 21, which means that based on the current rules, bars and restaurants will have to stop service at 10.00pm.

Two exceptions will be Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve when the curfew will start an hour later at midnight.

Five days of curfew relaxations had been previously announced taking the start time to 1.30am.

The maximum number of people that will be able to gather together in private or in public will continue to be six.

That means the planned relaxation for ten family members to meet over the festive period is rescinded.

The Valencian Community border will continue to be closed except for anybody who has a home in the region.

That ‘locks-off’ the chance for families to get together over the holiday.

“We have to combat the pandemic and its is painful for us to restrict Christmas. We have to take these measures out of prudence and responsibility,” said Ximo Puig.

Rule changes start this Monday to avoid any disrupt to weekend plans.

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