It was announced yesterday that the traditional New Year’s Eve celebrations in Valencia’s Plaza del Ayuntamiento will be cancelled for a second year running and in addition the area will be closed on the evening of 31 January to avoid spontaneous partying. However, the Cabalgata de Reyes, the procession of the Three Kings through the city on 5 January, as well as Expojove have been given the go ahead. For now at least.
The Kings’ procession will have fewer floats though, making it shorter, to avoid spectators having to stand around for too long, but the route will remain the same length. The floats will reach the door of the City Hall and will follow the usual path, but the rest of the details will be announced next week at a press conference.
Expojove, the indoor fair at Feria Valencia, the city’s venue for trade shows, will go ahead, although with strict covid protocols and limited capacity. Other street activities should be fine, according to Carlos Galiano, Councillor for culture and festivities, although he didn’t specifically mention whether the San Silvestre run, which is scheduled for 29 December, would go ahead or not. In any case, he said: “all this will depend on the rules that the ministry approves as the month of December progresses” and, “we always have time to cancel, modify or extend.”
The plans were announced yesterday by the city’s mayor, Joan Ribó, following the meeting of the local safety board, made up of members of the city council, the regional government and representatives of the national government. They met with the aim of establishing guidelines and forecasts for the upcoming festive period, working together to comply with the regulations of the health authority to fight against coronavirus. After the meeting Ribó talked about the surge in covid-19 cases and asked for “respect” for the rules from the Ministry of Health and the Generalitat”, and “personal responsibility.” He appealed for “prudence” and “flexibility” regarding the programming of Christmas events, explaining that “at this time we cannot predict with certainty what will happen in ten or fifteen days”.
Regarding the covid passport, Ribó said: “our mission is to enforce it,”and he pointed out that it is “a safety element” and encourages the vaccination of “those people who have eluded us.” Along the same lines, Councilor for Citizen Protection, Aarón Cano, clarified that “the Local Police will not control the covid passport. This is the task of venue owners, what the police will do is supervise the large leisure venues. And of course, where there is any problem due to non-compliance, both national and regional police officers will attend as part of a joint operation which begins this weekend.”