NEW moves to limit social contact are being introduced today(January 25) across the Valencian Community to try to stem the large rise in new COVID-19 cases.

Cities will have weekend border closures and fresh restrictions will bar the vast majority of non-family members from meeting indoors.

The measures come on the back of the worst-week of the pandemic for new infections, deaths, and hospitalisations.

The package firstly extends all existing restrictions through to at least February 15.

That includes the closure of the regional border; the shutdown of hospitality; the 6.00 pm closing of non-essential shops: and the nightly curfew starting at 10.00 pm.

16 cities in the region will get a weekend perimeter closure running from 3.00 pm on a Friday until 6.00 am on Monday.

The rule applies to all cities with a population of over 50,000 residents.

The cities are:  Valencia, Alicante, Elche, Castellon, Torrevieja, Torrent, Orihuela, Gandia, Paterna, Benidorm, Sagunt, Alcoy, San Vicente del Raspeig, and Elda-Petrer.

Nobody will be allowed to enter and leave those municipalities except principally for work reasons and getting medical attention.

It’s estimated that 2.3 million people will be hit by the restriction, accounting for 45.6% of the region’s population.

Another big change is that people who do not live together will not be able to go to each other’s homes.

There are exceptions to the home rule.

That includes caring for children, dependent people; and the elderly; people who live alone and who are part of a ‘bubble’; and partners/married couples who have different addresses.

As for outside the home environment, just two people who do not live together are able to meet.

Exemptions feature schools, colleges, work-places, and public transport.

Valencian President, Ximo Puig, admitted that ‘it would not be possible to monitor what is going in homes’ and appealed for ‘one more effort’ as regional hospitals reach a critical stage with high admission figures.

The measures come into force when they are published today(January 25) in the Valencian Official Gazette,

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