Catalonia begins today a new phase of mobility and flexibility one year after starting the first confinement due to the impact of the coronavirus. The gradual reopening of the different sectors in recent weeks paves the way for normalcy. The population can move from today in bubble groups of six people without restrictions through Catalonia and shops will open on weekends. Experts are confident that vaccination and good weather will make current advances definitive and prevent a fourth wave. At the moment the curfew and the night closing of the restaurant remain.
The new measures will last two weeks and the Generalitat intends that most of the economic sectors will recover their activities as epidemiological data allow. On the horizon are other key restrictions that depend on the evolution of the pandemic: allowing dinners in restaurants and a curfew. “Taking steps little by little makes it possible not to go backwards,” says Jaume Sellarès, vice president of the Barcelona College of Physicians, who admits the importance of not rushing reopening: “Restaurateurs ask to open quickly; the toilets, very little by little. Every mistake we have made has had a wave behind it ”. The Minister of Health, Alba Vergés, admitted last Saturday that the Government’s will is to maintain these measures “beyond” two weeks.
Mobility. Catalonia today lifts the regional deconfinement, so displacements are allowed throughout the community in bubble groups. “The situation continues to be complicated and we have to keep the data going. It is necessary not to mix bubble groups and minimize social interaction ”, Imma Solé, deputy director of Civil Protection Coordination and Management, at Catalunya Ràdio, claimed yesterday. “It is not advisable to see people who are not from our bubble without precautionary measures,” he claimed.
Future restrictions will largely depend on the impact that this new mobility may have on the indicators of the pandemic. “When mobility increases, the chances of infection increase. We saw it at Christmas and on the Puente de la Purísima ”, recalls Sellarès. But people know. The message a few months ago was ‘let’s save Christmas’; and now the idea of ’let’s save Holy Week’ is not heard.
Trade Non-essential commercial premises will be able to open from this Monday also on weekends and large establishments will be able to enable up to 800 square meters of space. According to the Barcelona Comerç association, billing on Saturdays corresponds to between 16% and 20% of the weekly total.
Restoration The bars and restaurants are open continuously in a single shift, from 7.30 am to 5.00 pm. Stores in shopping centers, however, remain closed. The sector claims to enable the service at night for restaurants to mitigate the crisis. This decision generates controversy in the Government itself, because the Secretary of Public Health, Josep Maria Argimon, admitted that he would go to dinner “with my bubble group”, but the Minister of Health, Alba Vergés, spoiled the idea in RAC-1 on Saturday “Because we can never speculate with measures that people are waiting for. We have to be careful ”.
Sport Those under 16 will be able to compete again from this Monday, and the sports facilities open their doors to the public, always with pre-assigned tickets.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.