The Spanish region of Catalonia announced on Thursday that it will reopen bars, restaurants and cinemas next Monday after more than a month’s closure, as part of a plan to relax the measures taken to deal with Covid-19.
This region of north-eastern Spain had closed its bars and restaurants on 16 October in order to curb the pandemic, also instituting a curfew and a partial closure of its territory.
The regional executive, which has competence in public health matters, will authorise from Monday the reopening of bars and restaurants until 9:30 pm with a capacity limited to 30% indoors.
Cinemas, theatres and concert halls will also be allowed to reopen with a maximum occupancy rate of 50%.
However, the curfew and partial closure of the area will remain in force. The latter measure prohibits anyone from entering or leaving Catalonia without a justified reason.
“We have managed to change the dynamics of the pandemic without having to resort to strict containment as (the one imposed) last spring,” explained the vice-president of the regional government Pere Aragonés.
Like the rest of Spain, which has been in a state of health emergency since the end of October, the incidence of the virus is falling in Catalonia, which has taken severe prevention measures that have been harshly criticised by local economic players.
However, Spain remains one of the countries most affected by the pandemic in the European Union, with more than 42,000 deaths and more than 1.5 million cases.
“The situation has stabilised (with a downward trend), but the situation continues to be very worrying, because we have high incidence rates”, the Spanish Health Minister, Salvador Illa, said on Wednesday.