THE Murcia region will close the perimeters of seven municipalities from midnight on January 6 and has slashed region-wide hospitality hours over the Three Kings holiday.

Increasing coronavirus case numbers have forced the Murcia government to reimpose Phase One restrictions on San Pedro del Pinatar, La Union, Villanueva del Rio Segura, Fortuna, Jumilla, Las Torres de Cotillas and Santomera.

The measures are already in place in Los Alcazares and Abanilla.

Travel in and out of Phase One municipalities is restricted except for a small category that includes going to and from work and getting medical treatment.

The hospitality industry will only be able to open businesses until 6.00pm tomorrow and on Wednesday’s Three Kings holiday across the whole of the Murcia region.

The curfew start-time will remain at 11.00pm.

The cumulative infection rate across Murcia has doubled in a week with concerns that family gatherings over the holiday period have fuelled the increase.

Murcia’s COVID Monitoring Committee spokesman, Jaime Perez, said:

“The consequences of the gatherings are becoming evident with really worrying levels of transmission being registered.”

Experts say that ‘very high levels’ of infection have been recorded in 12 other municipalities, including Murcia City, Cartagena, and San Javier.

In all nine Murcia municipalities under Phase One measures, all indoor service in bars and restaurants will be prohibited.

In areas that are classified as ‘very high risk’ like Murcia City, hospitality businesses can only operate at 30% indoor capacity.

Stores can only operate at half of their regular customer capacity and parks will shut at 7.00pm.

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