Government to allow bars and restaurants to serve on-site in evenings again from May 9

Most restrictions extended one more week as theme parks will also be able to reopen from same day

A bar terrace in Barcelona (by Jordi Bataller)
A bar terrace in Barcelona (by Jordi Bataller) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

April 30, 2021 12:54 PM

The Catalan government is planning to allow bars and restaurants to open both indoors and outdoors until 11 pm from May 9, the first day after the state of alarm comes to an end in Spain.

Such establishments have only been permitted to offer delivery and takeaway services in the evenings since December 21, 2020, after completely closing for most of spring 2020 and from October 16 to November 23, when on-site dinners were permitted for a month.

The cabinet confirmed these eased measures for bars and restaurants in a press conference on Friday, where they also announced that amusement parks will be allowed to reopen from May 9.

Health minister Alba Vergés and interior minister Miquel Sàmper also announced that the current Covid-19 measures have been extended for another week, although children's play areas will no longer have to close at 8 pm.

Once the state of alarm comes to an end, any restriction put forth by the Catalan government that infringes upon individual freedoms and liberties, as enshrined in the Spanish constitution, will have to be greenlighted by the Catalan High Court (TSJC).

Because of this, the executive is also preparing the legal framework to possibly extend certain measures such as the curfew from May 9, beyond the state of alarm.

Restaurants closing at 11 pm from May 9 "would indeed mean curfew wouldn't be 10 pm," Vergés said without stating a specific time as the government is still studying "legal mechanisms to be able to make relevant decisions if necessary."

Current Covid-19 measures

The Catalan government lifted the county lockdown and restored free mobility throughout Catalonia on Monday, April 26. 

Also from Monday, bars and restaurants located inside of shopping malls can reopen from 7:30 am to 5 pm, as is the case of the rest of cafes. 

Current restrictions also include the curfew in place from 10 pm to 6 am, the use of face masks in public spaces, and the closure of Catalonia's land borders.

Shops and shopping malls can open at 30% capacity, while religious and cultural venues can do so at 50%.

Vaccination rollout progress

Vergés said she was "optimistic" the Covid-19 vaccine rollout would soon be speeding up. "We expect to receive 500,000 doses by the end of next week," she told the press.

According to her, "the percentage of the population that has been vaccinated is increasing at a notable rate," which she believes will have a favorable impact on epidemiological figures in the weeks to come.

As of April 30, 1,815,232 of Catalonia's residents (23.51% of the population) have received a first dose of the jab, while 769,379 (9.96%) have been fully vaccinated.