Free travel within Catalonia allowed
Bachillerato students will return to face-to-face classes and restaurants in shopping centres, closed since Christmas, will also reopen
Free movement all around Catalonia starting on Monday. The government has decided to lift travel restrictions and allow unrestricted mobility at least until May 3. After ascertaining the feared "Easter effect" did not take place, the executive has also authorised journeys even if they are with members of other cohabitation bubbles. Nevertheless, this should be done in groups of six maximum, wearing masks and guaranteeing good ventilation. The Minister of Home Affairs, Miquel Sàmper, said Easter didn't have a large effect because most people respect the restrictions. However, he has asked the populations to reduce gathering to a minimum and use the easing of restrictions to visit family, such as parents who we have been unable to see for the past fortnight.
The authorisation to travel around Catalonia will be effective on Monday, April 26, once the current restrictions elapse That is why Home Affairs will maintain police checkpoints throughout the weekend.
According to Sàmper, the speeding-up of the vaccination campaign, the good weather and the restrictions imposed by the Catalan government allow for a "new paradigm" and "living with" the virus. "Slowloy, we are taking steps forward, but we must avoid going backwards. The risks lie in situations of social interaction and we continue asking people to extreme precautions", added the Catalan Health Minister, Alba Vergés.
494 patients in ICUs
This virus is still in circulation in Catalonia but with less strength and the experts consider its evolution is "stable". Nevertheless, the maintain that propagation has not disappeared and the population must keep its guard up. The speed of contagion (Rt), which shows the speed at which the virus spreads, stands at 0.97 -consolidating at under 1- and Effective Potential Growth stands at 267 (-5).
Nevertheless, the data on daily infection continues to be high: the Department of Health has notified 2.068 cases which correspond to the last three days -around 1,500 are detected a day on average- and the positivity rate (the percentage of tests that return positive results) continues stuck on 6.2%, despite many more tests being done every week. In addition, in the las 24 hours four new deaths were registered, taking the total to 123 in the last seven days.
It has also not been possible to reduce occupation of ICU wards, which still have around five hundred patients. Although it has been decreasing for three days, this reduction is too slow and the last update still shows 494 patients, only three fewer than yesterday. Regarding covid-19 patients on the general ward, la reduction is more evident: this Thursday the were 1,611 patients, 39 fewer than on Wednesday. "We know the figures are were high but we are also seeing a stabilisation of new cases and that has allowed us to ease some measures" said Vergés.