Coronavirus
Society 04/06/2021

Festivals and end of school year celebrations are back

Families will also be able to enter educational centres and take part in graduations

3 min
A deserted and symbolic festival of Gràcia
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BarcelonaFrom Monday onwards, Catalonia will allow festivals and open-air dances, as well as graduation celebrations in universities and business schools. ARA has also learnt that end-of-year parties in schools will also go ahead. The Government will endorse the celebration of all these events as long as there are controls on capacity and covid prevention measures are guaranteed, such as the mandatory use of face masks for all persons. "Educational centers will be able to open their doors to families to hold end-of-year celebrations and graduation ceremonies, maintaining all the safety protocols", Education Minister Josep Gonzàlez-Cambray told Tv3. All these celebrations had been suspended to avoid crowds.

The Department of Health has established that end-of-year parties can be held outdoors with a maximum capacity of 500 people (including students) and provided that 2.5 square meters per person is guaranteed. If the space is indoors, it is recommended that only children or young people from the stable coexistence group attend, but if there is very good ventilation, bubble groups will be allowed to mix keeping all prevention measures in place. In addition, if educational centres want families to participate, the capacity will be 50% of the capacity of the room with a maximum of 250 people, including pupils, and different families will have to leave one empty seat between them.

The possibility of accompanying children and teenagers on their last day of school, especially if they are about to change to secondary school or go to university, is a demand the Federated Associations of Students' Families of Catalonia has been making for about a month. Families complain that parents have not been able to participate in school life for a year, which limits their right to participation and negatively affects the quality of children's education. Now, given the pandemic's favourable evolution and the good pace of vaccination, the Department of Health has authorised schools to hold end-of-year celebrations as long as they follow their health guidelines.

At end-of-year parties and graduation ceremonies, meals will not be allowed: only snacks in an outdoor space may be served, observing a minimum distance of 1.5 metres. In addition, the authorities discourage dancing at school parties and call for activities or shows to be preferably held outdoors. No person with symptoms compatible with covid, who has contracted the illness or has been in close contact with someone who has in the ten days prior to the event may participate in the celebration.

To avoid crowds, the Health Dpt recommend arrivals and exits to be staggered and doors and windows to be kept open throughout the duration of the event to ensure that there is constant renewal of air. Also, the same applies to diploma ceremonies, where a minimum distance of 1.5 metres must be kept and handshakes and kisses are banned.

All attendees will have to wear a mask. As for group photographs, they must always be taken outdoors and may only include students from the same bubble. Masks may be removed momentarily for the photo.

70% capacity for weddings and funerals

Procicat has also approved maintaining the 10-person cap on gatherings after Monday, but has expanded from 50% to 70% of the capacity for activities related to conferences and conventions, religious events and civil ceremonies, including weddings and funerals.

Thus, the conditions for these sectors were equated to those of cultural activities: they may only be held at 70% capacity, attendees must stay seated, and there is a limit of 1,000 people indoors and up to 3,000 people outdoors or with reinforced ventilation. Measures will also be needed to avoid crowds, a register of attendees and prior allocation of seats.

Another new feature is that assemblies will be able to be held not only for sporting entities but also for cultural and, in general, associative-based entities. Until now, only sports entities were allowed to hold assemblies and with capacity limited to 50%. It is now extended to 70%, with a maximum number of 500 people or up to a thousand if there is reinforced ventilation and crowd control measures. All these measures are in addition to those that have come into force this Friday, which extend opening times for bars and cultural activities until 1 am and increase maximum capacity in shops and gyms to 70%.

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