Catalonia seeks to reimpose a curfew in Barcelona and 160 other municipalities
Measure in place from 1 am to 6 am in places with high Covid rates must be greenlighted by court
This article was last updated on Jul 15, 2021 at 1.45 pm. Check out this guide with a Q&A on the proposed curfew.
Catalonia will seek to reimpose a 1 am to 6 am curfew in Barcelona and 157 other municipalities, as was announced by President Pere Aragonès on Wednesday evening following an emergency cabinet meeting. Three other municipalities were added on Thursday morning: Altafulla, Caldes d'Estrac, and Santa Cristina d'Aro.
These cities and towns have over 5,000 inhabitants and 400 or more Covid-19 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the past 7 days, as well as those that are surrounded by towns in this situation.
Because the measure restricts individual liberties and there is no longer a state of alarm in place, the curfew must be greenlighted by High Court before the Catalan executive can implement it.
As was the case with the other measures announced this week, the court is expected to take a few days to decide on the matter. If it deems the measure necessary for public health reasons, it will come into effect as soon as the government publishes it in the official gazette (DOGC) and be in place for a week before being reviewed on a weekly basis.
Government spokesperson Patrícia Plaja has warned, however, that if approved it will be in place for more than a week until figures improve. "It will most likely be in place [at least] this week, the next, and the following one," she said.
This comes as Covid-19 rates in Catalonia continue to soar, especially among younger, unvaccinated residents, and after the government's legal team issued a favorable report on a curfew in certain municipalities following a similar decision taken in Valencia.
Possibly in force this weekend
Catalan president Pere Aragonès said on Wednesday that the cabinet was already in the process of requesting the court permission to implement the measure, which he expects to be in force this weekend.
"We are focusing on minimizing social activities that we have more evidence of contributing to the spread of the pandemic," he said in an official statement.
"We are doing this to protect people's health, especially those who are not fully vaccinated."
Among the municipalities affected by the proposed curfew are all of Catalonia's most populated cities, such as Barcelona, L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, Terrassa, Badalona, Sabadell, Tarragona, and Girona.
If approved, the restriction will affect 6,017,109 people, around 80% of the population.
Check out the 161 municipalities in the interactive map and table below: