De-escalation of the restrictions in the Valencian Community:
The measures that will change and those that will be extended on March 1st 2021
The Generalitat have made a decision on the new regulations against coronavirus and will announce them officially this Thursday. These restrictions have been released for the press to discuss and will officially be in place once the decree is written and published.
The huge decrease in the cumulative incidence of coronavirus cases and the huge release of pressure on the healthcare in the Valencian Community allows the Generalitat to decree the beginning of the de-escalation of the current restrictions against Covid-19, which officially remain in force until 11:59pm on 1st March 2021.
From then on, new measures will be implemented, such as the reopening of the hospitality industry which, after forty days of total closure, will reopen the terraces; the practice of outdoor sports and the lifting of perimeter confinement on weekends in cities with more than 50,000 inhabitants, which included Benidorm.
The president of the Generalitat, Ximo Puig, and the Ministry of Health have already publicly advanced some of the “slow, prudent and gradual” de-escalation plan of the restrictions, which will be approved this Thursday by the Interdepartmental Table for the management of Covid-19 for its entry into force next week.
Despite pressure from “Podemos” government partners, who want to extend the restrictions for at least another month, the Generalitat will announce a de-escalation this Thursday that, in any case, will maintain some of the current limitations such as the night curfew and the perimeter closure of the Valencian Community, in order to restrict mobility as much as possible. The objective is to reduce contact with outside of the Valencian Community due to fears of a fourth wave caused by the British variant. The Generalitat will maintain the closure of gyms for at least another fifteen calendar days.
While waiting for the official announcement of the President of the Generalitat on the de-escalation of the restrictions, scheduled for this Thursday, these are the measures that are due to change and those that are scheduled to remain as of March.
The bars and restaurants may reopen but only on the terraces, with fifty percent capacity and limited hours. It remains undecided whether they must close at six or eight, and the number of diners allowed per table in still in question.
The Generalitat will reopen the outdoor sports facilities from March, but will keep the gyms, pavilions and indoor swimming pools closed until the situation allows it, at least for two more weeks.
The regional government will lift the perimeter closure during the weekends in the municipalities of Valencia, Alicante, Elche, Castellón, Torrevieja, Torrent, Orihuela, Gandía, Paterna, Benidorm, Sagunt, Alcoy, Sant Vicent del Raspeig, Elda-Petrer and Vila-real.
Measures that are extended
The Government will extend the prohibition to leave and enter the Valencian Community except for justified labor or health reasons. The idea of the Generalitat is to maintain this measure beyond Easter to restrict tourism from other parts of Spain.
The Generalitat is inclined to extend the curfew, which starts at ten at night until six in the morning.
Non essential shops:
The initial approach is to maintain the closing time for non-essential shops at six in the afternoon, but the employer’s association has demanded that the Generalitat extend it until eight. It remains unclear whether the shops will be open until 6pm or 8pm.
On Thursday, I will watch the conference live and translate the important information including the confirmation of the restrictions. I will be updating as soon as the conference is over on my Facebook and on my website. Make sure you sign up for email updates to receive the information as it happens. This will also sign you up to our free monthly online magazine.
Coronavirus Facts and Figures
There are currently 80 PCR cases in the last 14 days in Benidorm. In the Valencian Community there are currently 344 in the ICU. In the Valencian Community, as of February 22nd, there are 99,045 people [Ministerio de Sanidad] who have received both doses of a Coronavirus vaccine. The Vaccines currently in circulation are the Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca.