Restrictions on bookshops lifted one month later

These establishments are now considered essential shops and will be able to open every day

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A customer at Laie bookshop

BarcelonaA month after forcing bookshops to close at weekends and forcing establishments of over 400 square metres to close, the Generalitat has classified bookshops as "essential businesses". This means they will be able to reopen as normal from Monday.

This is the measure book traders had been demanding, as they were the only cultural area affected by the new measures in January. They also asked that, rather than having to close, larger bookshops be allowed to close off spaces thus turning them into small bookshops. This would allow places like Casa del Libro, Onda, Abacus and Altaïr, which are closed, as well as other bookshops in shopping centres, such as Fnac or El Corte Inglés, to stay open. In the end, all the bookshops will be able to open, but not the shops located in shopping centres, which are not allowed to open.

Bookshops were included in the package of urgent measures decreed by the government on January 5th. This means that they will have been closed on weekends for a month. The closure of the shopping centres has also affected the larger bookshops, which have had to close completely during this time. The impact on sales has been considerable. According to the guild, there has been a 40% fall in turnover in January. According to Joan Sala, from Comanegra, the fall is 55-60%.

It should be borne in mind that bookshops will also benefit from the lifting of local lockdowns, because citizens will be able to access bookshops in the county capitals if there are none in their town or village, which until now was unfeasible.