TWO leading hospitality associations in the Valencian Community have branded new closing times as a ‘coup’.

Bars and restaurants will have to stop service from 5.00pm each day from January 7 as part of a new package of measures announced to halt increasing COVID-19 cases in the region.

No more than four people can sit at a table but the 30% indoor capacity restrictions will not be tightened further.

The new rule will apply until at least January 31.

Conhostur and Hostelería Valencia (the Valencia Hospitality Business Federation) described today’s announcement by Valencia president, Ximo Puig, as a ‘coup’ that criminalises their industry and will lead it ‘to ruin’.

A terse statement from both groups slammed the ruling and attacked Puig for not listening to the hospitality industry’s demands for talks over providing aid during the coronavirus pandemic.

“These measure have been implemented without considering the calls for help with no reply to multiple demands for discussions. The new restrictions represent a coup against the hospitality sector that has been doomed for nearly a year,” the statement said.

“Despite us being one of the most economically-hit sectors during the pandemic, we continue to get no aid or compensation for the 35,000 businesses in the region or the thousands of families that depend on them being open.”

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