MOST of the current restrictions to combat the spread of COVID-19 in the Valencian Community are set to be extended until the end of the month.

Existing measures including the enforced closure of the hospitality sector and weekend perimeter curfews for the region’s major cities expire this Monday(February 15).

Valencian president, Ximo Puig, will chair a meeting tomorrow with healh chiefs after which he is expected to announced an extra fortnight of tougher rules first imposed last month.

Infection rates have almost halved since late January along with fewer hospitalisations and a reduction on pressure suffered by intensive care units.

Some possible changes to the current package may be announced but fundamental principles like pushing back the curfew start time from 8.00 pm or reopening bars and restaurants are unlikely to be considered before March 1.

A regional government source said: “ From the start of March, assuming infection rates continue to fall, we look look at a gradual easing of restrictions as opposed to a quick sudden change.”

There are elements within the administration that are arguing for a quicker return to daytime opening for the hospitality trade.

Some businesses in the region have threatened to reopen on February 16, bolstered by a Basque regional court ruling that the enforced closure of hospitality was illegal in that area.

Bars and restaurants in the Petrer and Elda areas of Alicante Province say they will join the protest reopening announced yesterday by a leading hospitality group in Castellon Province.

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