The Valencia region, with the Costa Blanca as the tourist hotspot, is also struggling with a sharp increase in the number of covid infections. New restrictions threaten Valencia, Gandia, Calpe, Xàbia, Peñíscola and Benicàssim.
The incidence rate continues to grow in Valencia city. According to the latest data, the rate is 601 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. In the past two weeks, 4,811 infections with Covid-19 have been reported.
The main problem lies on the coast of Valencia province.
Province of Valencia
The municipalities with beaches that can expect a new curfew in the region due to the high incidence are close to Valencia (601), Gandia (383), Sueca (268), Daimús (281), Miramar (1456), Piles (437), Sagunto (323), Alboraia (691), Pucol (319), Meliana (346), and Albuixech (409). These places all exceed the incidence of 250 cases per 100,000 inhabitants measured over 14 days.
Province of Castellon
In the province of Castellón, Benicàssim and Peñíscola are threatened by night confinement. These are also the two most touristic places in the province. With an incidence of 914 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, the situation in Benicàssim is considered worrying. In Peñíscola the rate is 273 cases and in Torreblanca 394. In the interior of Castellón, Morella is again in a delicate situation with 496 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.
Province of Alicante
The province of Alicante is still in the best position in what is already being called the fifth covid wave. The problems here are not as great as those in Valencia; however, two very touristy coastal communities are a cause for concern. These are Calpe and Xàbia with 278 and 260 cases per 100,000 inhabitants respectively.
Government considers curfew again
The regional government announced on Thursday it is closing nightclubs, pubs and discotheques instead of allowing them to stay open until two o’clock. It is raising the closing times of the catering industry to half past one on weekends and is still considering capacity restrictions. The Valencian government plans to reinstate the curfew from 1 a.m. to 6 a.m. in those municipalities with a high level of risk. The main purpose of this is to stop social contacts and thus keep the infections under control, especially among the unvaccinated young people.
To be considered a very high risk, the incidence of cases per 100,000 inhabitants must be greater than 250. In addition, other variables such as positivity are taken into account – in the region it has risen above 10% according to the latest data – and mobility.
Threat to the tourist season
Health Minister Ana Barceló said at a press conference on Thursday that 40 municipalities were in the spotlight. That number could increase after the Generalitat updated data on the accumulated incidence on Friday morning. The skyrocketing numbers threaten the tourist season. If the Generalitat decides to close coastal municipalities, there is a risk of a fatal economic blow after a very difficult year due to the pandemic.
Puig: ‘The situation has improved a lot’
The president of the Valencia region put the negative reporting about the infections into perspective. He stated, where at the beginning of the year 4,777 people were hospitalised with covid, this is now 243, or ’20 times less’. Meanwhile, 25 covid patients are now in the ICUs. The year started with 670 patients in the ICU. “You have to act strongly, but without losing the perspective that the situation has improved a lot,” he said.
Finally, Puig hinted at fatality numbers. There is a marked reduction with five deaths per week now reported, compared to 150 at the beginning of the year. “You don’t have to sound the alarm, but you do have to stay alert. The pandemic continues.”