ALL bars, pubs, cinemas and gyms are to be added to the list of places where the Covid Digital Certificate or ‘Covid Passport’ is obligatory.
Until now the passport has only been required for places where food is served with capacity for more than 50 people, but now all establishments serving food and drink are to be included, regardless of capacity. The new measures also cover tourist establishments, like hotels which serve food. Likewise, cinemas, circuses, gyms, indoor swimming pools, and sports centres will also have to ask customers for their covid passport. Facemasks are also to become mandatory at all times in gyms. These measures will be in place until 31 January if the regional High Court, the TSJCV, approves the regional government’s request.
The new, tighter measures were announced this afternoon following the interdepartmental meeting that had been called, given the rapid rise in cases of coronavirus across the region. Since Friday there have been 9,648 new cases reported, and there are currently 812 people in the region’s hospitals, 118 more than a week ago, with 148 of those in intensive care units, 10 more than last week. The health department has also reported a further 11 deaths since Friday, of people aged between 27 and 90.
The accumulated incidence rate also increased over the weekend, by 104.8 points to 668,16 cases per 100,000 of the population and is still above the national average of 609.38 and it is in the youngest groups where there are most cases. Among the under 12s the rate is 1,031.83 per 100,000; in 12 to 19-year-olds it is 513.98; in 20 to 29-year-olds it is 788.57; among 30 to 39-year-olds the rate is 792.74; among those aged 40 to 49 it is 812.13 cases; in 50-59-year-olds it is 584.71 cases; among 60 to 69-year-olds it is 605.27; in the 70-79 age group the rate is 259.21 and in the over 80s it drops to 202.87 cases per 100,000. (Numbers as reported in Valencia Plaza).
Puig calls for “prudence” and “common sense”
Speaking at the press conference after the interdepartmental meeting, Valencian president, Ximo Puig, said that infections and hospitalizations for coronavirus had tripled in the past month and that the number of people in the ICU had almost tripled.
He called for ‘prudence’ as we head into the festive season, and he asked people to use common sense and celebrate this Christmas avoiding big crowds and large family gatherings, as well as complying with quarantine rules after coming into contact with a person who has tested positive for Covid-19.
Puig also added a note of calm saying that “We are on alert but we are not in a state of alarm” adding that “in the worst moment of the pandemic, before we had the vaccine, we had 4,800 hospitalization, which is seven times more than today, and 670 people in a critical state, which is five times more than today.”
He went on to say that this was thanks to the vaccine and pointed out that 93.7% of Valencians have been vaccinated, and that it is “crucial” to intensify the vaccination programme with the booster shot, vaccination of children and those who have not yet been vaccinated.
He also commented that with the Covid passport coming into effect there had been a five fold increase in people getting their first jab, with 28,000 getting vaccinated for the first time in just one week.
He said that “in just three days 50,000 Valencians aged between 9 and 11 had been vaccinated” and that this first phase would conclude on Wednesday and resume after Christmas.
Puig also said that 42 new permanent vaccination points would be set up across the region, with the aim of accelerating the vaccination process and freeing up the primary care sector. He said they would work with an appointment system and would be located in places like sports centres, retirement homes and spaces integrated in hospitals.
Puig was accompanied by the Valencian Health Minister, Ana Barceló, who explained that the first to be called for booster jabs would be those aged 60 to 69 who haven’t yet received it, followed by those who had been vaccinated with AstraZeneca or Janssen, and after that those aged between 50 and 59, and finally the 40 to 49 age group.
Meanwhile, the vaccination points where people can turn up without an appointment for first and second jabs will continue to be operative and, in fact, this week there will be 23 mobile vaccination points working. The health department publishes the locations of the mobile units on twitter @gvasanitat each day.