President of the Generalitat Valenciana, Ximo Puig, announced on Thursday the much anticipated relaxation of some restrictions as part of the de-escalation plan. The new flexibility of restrictions represents an important step for hostelry and commerce, which can now remain open until 10pm. There are no changes to the capacity of bars, restaurants or shops but the capacity of cultural events is expanded to 75% and that of ceremonies to 50%.
The head of the regional government was keen to remind citizens that some measures will be maintained until May 9, when the State Of Alarm ends.
Among the measures to remain is the regional perimeter closure, so it remains forbidden to enter or leave the Valencian Community except in exceptional circumstances (for work, a medical appointment, to care for an elderly relative, etc). Similarly, the curfew remains in place and at the same time, so citizens must stay at home from 10pm to 6am. Only two families can meet in private, with groups in public (a restaurant for example) limited to six.
During his appearance before the media, Puig pointed out that “there can be no relaxation, the virus is still there. We have to continue to be prudent.”
“Right now the incidence is 40 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. It is six times lower than the Spanish average and we are the only community at low risk,” said Puig.
Earlier this month, Puig already remarked as of May 9 it might be time for some measures to be lowered, especially the perimeter closure, because “many families have not had contact in a long time. That effort has paid off and now we have to overcome it in some way,” he said.
It is something that Puig hopes that the Generalitat can manage when the state of alarm ends, insisting however that we must wait until the 9th “and see how the general situation is.”
When the extension of bar and restaurant closing hours was extended to 10pm to coincide with the start of the curfew, there was some confusion so the Generalitat clarified the following day that at 10pm customers must already be at home, and that the establishments must be closed.