President of the Valencian Government Ximo Puig on Wednesday announced the relaxation of several Covid restrictions, which will come into effect from midnight on March 1st.
This comes after Covid-19 cases in the region have fallen to 176 infections per 100,000 inhabitants, which is now half the national average.
One of the biggest changes is that bars, restaurants and cafes will finally be able to reopen. Dining will however only be allowed on the terraces and capacity will be reduced to 50 percent.
They will also have limited opening hours, although it hasn’t yet been decided if they will be forced to close at 6pm or 8pm. The maximum number of diners allowed at each table will also be announced in the coming days.
16 municipalities with more than 50,000 inhabitants will no long have border closures on weekends between 3pm on Fridays and 6am on Mondays, meaning that from March 1st people will be able to travel freely between them.
This will affect 2.5 million residents in the towns and cities of Valencia, Alicante, Elche, Torrevieja, Torrent, Orihuela, Gandia, Paterna, Benidorm, Sagunt, Alcoy, Sant Vicent del Raspeig, Elda-Petrer and Vila-real.
There will however remain a perimital border closure around the whole of the Valencian Community, and travel in and out of the region will be prohibited, except for very specific reasons such as work, education, medical or assisting those in need.
While indoor sports facilities such as gyms and swimming pools are to remain closed, the Valencian government will be allowing outdoor sports to be resumed. The maximum number of people and rules as to whether a mask will be required or not however, has not yet been decided.
During the de-escalation announcements, President Puig also announced that the region’s famed Las Fallas festival will be celebrated virtually for the first time ever.
The nightly curfew from 10pm to 6am will also remain in place and non-essential shops will still have to close at 6pm. Stores have petitioned the government to allow them to close at 8pm instead, but as of yet no change has been made.