Government confirms bookstores will have to close on weekends
Editorial entity feels "disappointed and cheated" that they are not considered essential
BarcelonaThe Booksellers' Guild has been negotiating with the Generalitat until the last moment, but this Friday afternoon they publically announced that there will be no turning back: as announced on Monday, bookshops, like all non-essential product stores, will have to close for the next two weekends due to an increase in the pandemic incidence. In addition, bookstores of more than 400 square meters will have to close every day until January 17, because it is not allowed to limit spaces, as it was interpreted until now.
Bookstores, therefore, "are not considered essential goods, despite the government's agreement on the essentiality of culture", the Guild criticizes. Its president, Maria Carme Ferrer, has held meetings every day with the Ministry of Culture, and has also asked for more meetings "at the highest level", anticipating that there may be new restrictions or current ones will be extended.
This Friday, the Catalan Ombudsman asked for a review of the suspension of extracurricular activities and the closure of bookstores, which they considered "disproportionate". In the end, however, this will not occur.
The editorial entity Cambra del Llibre has issued a statement affirming that it feels "disappointed and deceived" by the decision to not include bookstores as part of essential activities. The entity that brings together the book sector (the guilds of publishers, booksellers, distributors and graphic communication) shows its "deep concern for the lack of credibility of the Generalitat" because with this decision it has not complied with the resolution of September 22nd that declared culture as an essential good "for the integral development of people". Faced with this decision, the Cambra del Llibre has assured that it "will continue to fight for books to maintain an essential role in citizens' lives".