Catalonia will lift the regional confinement as of this Monday, March 15, and non-essential commerce, including that in shopping centers, may also open on Saturdays . As of Monday, then, it will be possible to circulate throughout the Catalan territory but these trips must only be with the coexistence bubble .
These are two of the notable novelties regarding the revision of the restrictions. These are measures that will be maintained for 14 days, until March 28 , that is, just before the start of Holy Week. They will not therefore be the restrictions that will necessarily govern for Easter.
Another novelty is that federated sports competitions are authorized for children under 16 years of age . The presence of the public is allowed in all those sports competitions with pre-assigned seats, except state and international competitions that have prohibitions from other organizations. The public capacity will be 50% in outdoor spaces and 30% in closed spaces.
All shops of up to 800 m2 may also open. In all shops the maximum capacity allowed is 30%. Likewise, game rooms, casinos and bingo halls may resume their activity with 30% capacity, in groups of a maximum of 6 people and a maximum of 100 people but without bar service.
As of March 26, family and social gatherings will be limited to a maximum of 4 people in closed spaces except if they are living together. In private spaces, meetings of non-cohabitants will not be allowed.
Regarding mobility and social meetings, the ‘councilor’ of Health, Alba Vergés, wanted to emphasize that the lifting of the district closure and the increase in mobility does not mean that there may be an increase in social encounters.
In the cultural sphere , the ban on galas, awards ceremonies and festivals is lifted. Popular and traditional culture is allowed as long as they are static activities and are carried out in perimeter or closed spaces and with the same capacity limitations as cultural activities and with the public in seats.
The hours of bars and restaurants remain as before: from 07:30 to 17:00 without interruption.
Non-essential commerce in Catalonia may open on the weekend
A relaxation of the measures was expected given the good evolution of the epidemiological data . The Government has officially announced how the restrictions remain in Catalonia in an appearance by the ‘councilor’ for Health, Alba Vergés, the ‘minister’ for the Interior, Miquel Sàmper, and the general secretary for Health, Marc Ramentol.
Along with them, the Secretary of Public Health, Josep Maria Argimon, the Deputy Director General for Coordination and Emergency Management, Imma Solé, and the commissioner of the Mossos d’Esquadra, David Boneta.
Sàmper has pointed out early, in an interview on Catalunya Ràdio, that the Government foresees a certain “decompression” for Easter . They will be, he warned, “slow and short” measures to avoid regrowth.
“We will breathe but we will not take two steps forward and then take four steps back,” he said. The ‘minister’ has not specified what measures these will be, nor has he alluded to those that the Procicat will approve for the week of March 15.
All the peninsular autonomies must apply the closure of Holy Week
The measures that are approved for Easter will, however, be marked by the one agreed on Wednesday at the Interterritorial Health : you will not be able to enter or leave the autonomies except in case of force majeure, curfew at 11:00 p.m., only meetings of cohabitants in the houses and in bars and restaurants, tables of 4 people inside and 6 on the terraces.
These measures are mandatory, although the communities may be more restrictive. For example, Catalonia has already announced that it will keep the curfew at 10pm.
It is therefore ruled out that you can leave Catalonia to visit relatives and friends as the Government spokesperson, Meritxell Budó, had pointed out this week. So explicit has been the Minister of Health, Carolina Darias : “You can only travel for the essential issues provided for in the alarm decree.”
In favor of relaxing the restrictions, the Secretary of Public Health, Josep Maria Argimon , has once again defended that the moment to “give air” softening limitations, despite the still high occupation of the ucis. “500 beds are many; now, we have to give air because citizens are exhausted. If the window opens more or less, that is already a decision of the Government,” he pointed out this week.