Misc 19/11/2020

Bars and restaurants will be able to open until 9.30 pm, with no limit on terrace capacity

The Govern predicts Christmas will be free of mobility limits, and it will study a curfew halt

Gemma Garrido Granger
2 min

BarcelonaBars and restaurants will be able to reopen on Monday, with no limit on terrace capacity, between 6 am and 9.30 pm, as ratified on Thursday by the technical committee of the Catalan Civil Protection Emergency Plan (Procicat). Each table may have a maximum of four people (unless they are part of the same support bubble), and a separation of two meters between tables will be necessary. Inside the establishments, a limit of 30% of the venue's capacity must be followed. Although the preliminary document drawn up by the Health Department (Salut) only envisaged that restaurants would be open until 5 p.m. with limits on their capacity both inside and outside, the Government has finally decided to extend the opening hours well into to the afternoon - and allow the terraces to be reopened in full.

The executive has also decided that cinemas and theatres can recover part of their activity from Monday on, provided they do so at 50% of their capacity and with a maximum of 500 seats. Museums, which are not closed, will be able to go from the current 30% limit to 50%. As for sport, open-air sports facilities can also be used at half of their capacity; and gyms can be reopened at a third of their capacity - and only by appointment. However, it is currently forbidden to use the changing rooms.

As far as mobility is concerned, the Government will maintain the ban on leaving the municipality during weekends for a further fortnight. However, if epidemiological indicators allow it, mobility between counties will be authorized from the week of December 7th. It will not be until Christmas week that the Government will authorise full mobility throughout Catalonia. The acting president, Pere Aragonès, has also confirmed that the executive branch will evaluate if the curfew - which will be maintained during the entire de-escalation process - can be modified extraordinarily on indicated dates such as Christmas day. "Next week we will discuss it", he said.

This announcement comes after a number of reprimands between ERC and JxCat - due to the supposed leak of the de-escalation plan prepared by the Department of Health - have taken place. It was finally the acting president, Pere Aragonès, and the Minister of the Presidency, Meritxell Budó, who appeared on Thursday to present the document approved by Procicat and announce the new social and mobility restrictions that will come into play next Monday. Amongst other issues, the Government must clarify the opening conditions that currently closed sectors, such as hospitality and culture, must meet.

The Government has defended that, after many efforts, Catalonia finds itself "in a position [in which we are able] to relax" restrictions, combining economic reactivation with health protection. However, "we cannot run. In June we were too fast and this is why the second wave arrived earlier in Catalonia. Now we have to delay the third as much as possible until a vaccine arrives", Aragonès stated on Thursday. In fact, the Government assures that this progressive reopening of sectors which have been closed for a month will not be the same as the reopening which was set in motion last spring, since the intention is not to "recover normality", but to progressively reactivate the most affected social and economic sectors.