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Gradual lifting of Covid-19 measures to begin on Nov 23

Health ministry advocates re-opening sectors slowly despite high ICU occupancy

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16 November 2020 03:51 PM

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ACN | Barcelona

The Catalan government plan to gradually lift some of the current Covid-19 measures from Monday, November 23. The re-opening will be done by different sector and the moves will last for 15 days before being re-evaluated. 

The plan will be shared with the sectors involved throughout this week. At a press conference on Monday, health officials advocated that restrictions be gradually lifted from Monday onwards due to the "good trend" of Covid-19 data seen in Catalonia in recent days, although not all objectives have been achieved. 

Specifically, ICU occupation remains high. Health minister Alba Vergés pointed out that, although Catalonia overcame the peak of new infections of the second wave a few days ago, this has not yet been felt in medical centres. 

Following a sharp rise in cases and hospitalizations in October, a new raft of restrictions were introduced in Catalonia, including a curfew, a partial lockdown of regional and municipal borders, and the closure of bars and restaurants.

The measures were the strictest seen since the first wave in the spring.

The re-opening plan is expected to be divided into three or four sections, but the minister avoided going into further details. Vergés already hinted last week that the steps would begin with outdoor activities, where the risk of contagion is lower than indoor, and thus the terraces of bars and restaurants could be permitted to open. 

The head of the health department was pleased with the fact that the R number has remained below 1 for a sustained period, meaning infection numbers will continue to fall. 

However, the officials are still concerned about the number of new infections per day, which they want to see fall below 1,000, and the number of patients in intensive care.

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  • A bar terrace closed in Lleida on July 13, 2020 (by Laura Cortés)

  • A bar terrace closed in Lleida on July 13, 2020 (by Laura Cortés)

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