Nightclubs will reopen on February 11 with no covid pass requirement

Premises allowed 100% capacity and there will be no restrictions on opening hours

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One of the dance floors of Sala Apolo in Barcelona during this Thursday to Friday night.

BarcelonaNightclubs will be able to reopen in Catalonia from Friday 11 February and will do so with fewer restrictions than last autumn, the last time they were allowed to. The covid certificate will no longer be required to enter nightclubs venues – a requirement that also ceased to apply in bars, restaurants, gyms and care homes – and establishments will be allowed to fill up and reach 100% of capacity – previously there was a 70% cap – there will be no restrictions on opening times and dancing will be allowed without keeping safe distances. The only measure that will be maintained, which is regulated by a state decree, is the obligation to wear a mask inside, except when drinking.

Government spokeswoman Patrícia Plaja has argued that the reopening of clubs has been allowed because the sixth wave in Catalonia "has reached its peak and the curve is already in decline". Thus the scenario that existed before Christmas and New Year's Eve is recovered, when drastic restrictions had not yet been reimposed (the closure of nightclubs, the curfew and a 10-person limit on gatherings. Plaja justified that February 11 was chosen as the date for the reopening of nightclubs because it is expected that in the next 10 days the decrease in covid infections will be maintained and the pressure on the health system will drop. Even so, the spokeswoman has asked "not to leave aside" the habits acquired during the pandemic.

This is the fourth authorisation given to recover nightlife in Catalonia, after two brief openings and closures in the two summers since covid broke out. The third one was at the end of last year, when the restriction was lifted after several mass street parties ended in fights and acts of vandalism. The nightclub business association, which has defined their guild as the most punished by the restrictions, had appealed to the Catalonia's High Court to try to reopen during the Christmas holidays and change their situation, but the judges denied the sector's request. The only doubt now is whether nightlife is back to stay or will have to experience a new closure at a later date.

In fact, the Catalan Federation of Associations of Restoration and Musical Activities (Fecasarm) has denounced that the reopening of the sector "is late", because the restrictions have already led many entrepreneurs "to the limit of their subsistence". That is why the nightlife employers' association has demanded "legal certainty" so that these premises do not have to close again. The secretary general of Fecasarm, Joaquim Boadas, lamented "losses worth billions of euros" and called for immediate reopening, without waiting until next week. "We value positively the reopening on the 11th, but I think we should not have to wait so long to do it. There is no cause that justifies not being able to open earlier," he said.