Barcelona
Society 08/07/2021

Infections multiply by four in Barcelona: Colau asks to avoid beaches at night

City Council announces a reinforcement of the police system in Barceloneta to control flow of people

3 min
A group of people march out of a 'bot ellon' under the watchful eye of an agent

BarcelonaThe data on the evolution of the covid is not good and those of Barcelona are of particular concern: in the last week, infections multiplied by four in the city and reached 8,915. More than a thousand positive cases per day, when only three weeks ago there were about 150. "The number of infections has risen a lot in a few days", the Councilor for Health, Gemma Tarafa, has warned at a press conference, who, as she did in the hardest moments of the pandemic, has appeared accompanied by the Deputy Mayor for Security, Albert Batlle, and the councilor Eloi Badia, who is in charge of managing the beaches, one of the most concerning parts of the city with regards to night crowds. With nightlife closed, the Colau government today focused its message on the need to avoid crowds in public spaces and specifically in the beach area, although it has ruled out closing them so as not to concentrate more people in other spaces.

The Deputy Mayor for Security has asked everyone to avoid going and that, as far as possible, go out to areas close to home and avoiding large concentrations. "There is a lot at stake", he warned. But, assuming that, despite this appeal, the beaches will once again be the main attraction point at night this weekend, the council has also announced a reinforcement of police and cleaning operations to try to alleviate the inconvenience residents of areas such as Barceloneta experience. What is expected is that informants and agents will expel the groups that go to or from the beaches from the neighborhood and lead them to wider streets such as Joan de Borbó.

The reinforcement of the Guardia Urbana, as they have specified, will not be quite as large as the 30% extra that was planned for the festival of Sant Joan, but not far from it. More presence of the Mossos will also be required. Cleaning teams and the police will coordinate to prevent groups from returning to the places which have been cleared: when the police remove crowds, cleaning will begin as has happened so many times in the squares of Gràcia.

"We have not given up in in defending neighbours' rest", has assured councillor for Ecological Transition, Eloi Badia, in a clear intention to calm the spirits of neighbour associations in Barceloneta or Ciutat Vella, who these days have mobilized against anti-social behaviour. Those affected denounce that, since restrictions such as curfew have ended, the noise and dirt with which they live at night are even worse than those before the pandemic. They are fed up of loud revellers going through their neighbourhood on their way to the beaches.

According to Batlle, in the current situation, due to both the boom in contagion and neighbourhood complaints about noise at night, controlling activity on the seafront has become "an absolute priority". The special device focuses on the beach area but the municipal government assured that it will be extended to any place where there may be an intensive use of public space, such as the squares of Gràcia or Passeig del Born.

The three councillors who have appeared at a press conference have called for prudence, asking people not to remove masks even if they are outdoors. However, they ruled out calling for stricter restrictions such as a return to nighttime confinement.

On alert for primary care

According to the X-ray of the situation made by the head of the Health Department, what worries most right now is the pressure that primary care is having to endure, because the growth of infections, which affects younger people the most, has translated into a slight upturn in hospitalisations (from 129 on June 28th to 160 on July 5th). "Nothing to do with what had been experienced at other times," said Tarafa. The increase has not been noticed at the moment in ICUs.

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