NIGHT curfews will return to areas of the Valencian Community that have high COVID-19 infection rates.
Rising coronavirus virus cases among younger people have forced Valencian president, Ximo Puig, to introduce a new package of measures on Thursday (July 8).
The new restrictions will start at midnight from Saturday(July 10) and will run until July 25.
Around 40 municipalities, mainly in Valencia Province, fall into the category of having high COVID-19 cases but no list has yet been announced.
Designated areas will have a 1.00 am to 6.00 am curfew.
The curfew move is subject to the ratification tomorrow by the Valencian Supreme Court, but based on previous rulings this year, that is seen as a formality.
Social gatherings, both indoors and outdoors, will be restricted to a maximum of ten people.
Ximo Puig said that illegal public drinks gatherings involving young people known as botellons would be classified as a ‘serious offence’.
He also announced that alcohol shop sales will be prohibited after 8.00 pm each day.
Nightlife businesses will only be allowed to operate on hospitality licences with bars and restaurants having to stop serving from midnight before shutting at 12.30 am.
Speaking at a news conference, Puig promised extra financial support for the region’s nightlife sector to compensate for their latest setback.
THE MAIN CHANGES ARE:
- Around 40 municipalities are set to face the return of a 1.00 am to 6.00 am curfew. The designated areas will be decided on the basis of COVID-19 infection rates
- All nightlife businesses will have to close at 12.30 am, as opposed to 2.00 am, with service ceasing at 12.00 am.
- Nightlife businesses will only be allowed to trade on the same basis as bar and restaurant licences.
- The whole hospitality sector will shut at 12.30 am with no orders taken from midnight.
- A maximum of ten people will be permitted per table on a terrace and six indoors.
- Alcohol shop sales to end each day at 8.00 pm.
- Capacity for outdoor events is reduced from 4,000 to 3,000, and from 3,000 to 2,000 for indoor venues.
- A tougher approach to be taken against illegal outdoor drinks gatherings.
Ximo Puig said:- “The pandemic has worsened and we have reversed our progressive reopening which began on March 1 because health is the priority of the Valencian government.”
Commenting on the earlier closure for hospitality and the impact on tourism, Puig said that ‘the measures are not disruptive as bars and cafes will only shut half an hour earlier than now’.
The large rise in COVID-19 infections has so far had a small impact on hospital admissions, which were below 250 yesterday, with a handful of patients in intensive care and just nine fatalities reported in the last week.
Over half of new coronavirus cases are recorded in the 15 to 29 age range category which has yet been vaccinated.
Puig said that the start of vaccinations for the 20 to 29 age category had been brought forward a week to the first week of August.
The first week of September will see beginning of inoculations for the 19 and under category.
“In September, 70% of the Valencian population will have had a full course of vaccines, and we want the region to be full immunised by October 9(Valencia Day),” Puig added.