The Valencian Community, which includes the provinces of Alicante, Castellón and Valencia, has been the first of the autonomous regions in Spain to tighten restrictions as of December 21st, 2020.
This was announced on December 17th by the President of the regional government, Ximo Puig, at a press conference hold with his Health Minister Ana Barceló.
Puig explained that no more than six people, from two “groups of coexistence” at the most, can attend social meetings both in public and private spaces, without any exceptions for Christmas.
The authorities have agreed on an altered timing for mobility restrictions at night at 11 PM until January 15th, with exemptions on the 24th and 31st of December, when it will be midnight.
The new curfew, like the rest of the measures, didn´t come into operation immediately so that the hotel industry and the cultural sector can fulfill their most urgent commitments.
In addition, the Community’s perimeter confinement will be reinforced. The windows that had been opened for December 23rd, 24th, 25th and 31st as well as January 1st, 2021 to visit family and friends are now closed.
In this way, until January 15th it will not be possible to leave or enter the Valencian territory except for work reasons, return to one’s habitual residence, or in the event of force majeure.
Puig pointed out that he didn’t like to generate uncertainty by correcting measures taken on December 4th and apologized to all citizens for disrupting their plans.
However, Puig stressed that due to the changing epidemiological situation and coronavirus incidence, everybody needed to adapt to the new reality. The consequences of not doing so would be worse and, after suffering so much to get this far, to fail now wasn’t an option.
The regional leader justified the stronger regulations which an increased (but still relatively low) COVID-19 incidence rate of 27% last week and, despite fewer hospitalizations and half the mortality rate compared to other parts of Spain, four consecutive days with more than 2,000 cases.
While it was painful to have to restrict Christmas activities even more, at the end a society which had already made extraordinary efforts would have to continue acting with prudence and responsibility.
Puig insisted that he had no intention of instilling fear in anybody. On the other hand, that’s exactly what most politicians around the world have been doing for nine months-especially those who look rather helpless.