Society 20/08/2021

Catalan Government proposes extending curfew to large municipalities with highest covid incidence

Police dispersed 4,100 people in Barcelona during first night without curfew

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Riot police officers of the Guardia Urbana, this morning in Gràcia

BarcelonaAfter Catalonia's High Court threw out the government's first proposal for the curfew , meaning it is now only in force in 19 towns, the Government wants to extend the measure to the 62 cities with over 20,000 inhabitants that have recorded over 125 covid cases per 100,000 inhabitants. If Catalonia's High Court approves it, the curfew would once again affect most of the population, as all four provincial capitals and many of the coastal towns that had asked for an extension of the curfew.

The Generalitat had already announced that it would present alternatives to the courts' rejection of the curfew in 148 localities, justifying that the epidemiological situation still requires restrictions on mobility and social interaction because, although there is a timid and progressive decrease in the indicators of covid transmission, the pressure of care in hospitals is high. In the ICU, the number of inpatients has barely fallen below 500, the threshold of what is considered a great danger of collapse, but the danger of a resurgence is also high and the fifth wave, marked by the ravages of the delta variant, cannot be considered over.

On the other hand, the first night without curfew has meant hard work for the police. In total, they have evicted dispersed 4,100 people throughout the city, according to Efe. About 2,100 people have been cleared from the beaches, mostly on the beaches of Sant Miquel and Somorrostro, where they were drinking and partying in large groups, contravening covid restructions. The police also intervened in Gràcia, which is celebrating its neighbourhood festival, where 2,000 were dispersed from public spaces, especially in the Plaça John Lennon. No fines were given out, unlike on previous days. "We are deploying an operation to combat crowding in public spaces, not to impose fines," said deputy mayor for Prevention and Security from Barcelona City Council, Albert Batlle, in statements to RAC1. Municipal sources have told Efe that the operation in Gràcia has lasted about an hour longer than on previous nights due to the end of the curfew, and that revellers left the area peacefully when asked by the police.