BAR and restaurants throughout the Valencian Community will remain closed until at least the beginning of March.

Regional president Ximo Puig finally confirmed the measure this morning (Friday February 12) after a week full of negotiations, speculation and protests since first hinting at the extension of the closures last Sunday.

As expected, all other restrictions will also continue to apply, including the weekend perimeter closures, nocturnal curfew, and limitations on socialising.

Puig has not set a deadline for the prohibitions to be lifted and insists that he is only prepared to negotiate a relaxation of restrictions if there is a ‘substantial’ improvement in COVID-related figures.

Despite demands by the main business organisations within the hospitality sector – including a protest outside the regional government headquarters in Valencia yesterday, as reported by The Olive Press – the Valencian president has refused to commit to a road map detailing the eventual scaling down of restrictions.

A recent protest by bar and restaurant owners in Denia (Alicante)
A recent protest by bar and restaurant owners in Denia (Alicante)

All major trade organisations are demanding to be included in the negotiations and are currently drawing up a list of proposals, such as urgent financial help for ailing businesses.

Puig has insisted that talks will continue with the affected sectors over the next two weeks.

Meanwhile, the number of establishment owners who plan to take part in Tuesday’s illegal reopening continues to grow day by day.

The protest action was first announced in Castellon Province but has now spread throughout the region, with more than 3,500 businesses now vowing to open their doors next week.   

Puig has stressed the importance of ‘dialog’ in order to avoid having to enforce ‘disciplinary measures’ against owners who break the law.

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