High Court greenlights extension of coronavirus restrictions in Catalonia
10-person gatherings and 70% capacity limit for religious ceremonies in place for another week
Catalonia's High Court has greenlighted the government's request to extend a 10-person limit on gatherings for another week in an effort to keep coronavirus transmissions to a minimum.
Judges have also approved having the 70% capacity limit for religious ceremonies in place for another week.
A petition from the nightlife sector business association, FECASARM, to open establishments beyond 12:30 am was rejected. These businesses are, for now, only allowed to open their outdoor seating areas until 12:30 am - indoor dancefloor and seating areas must remain shut.
Court approved Covid-19 measures
As there is no longer a state of alarm in place, the Catalan government must request court approval for Covid-19 restrictions that limit constitutional rights and freedoms on a weekly basis.
Although pandemic-related figures are improving and the worst of the fifth wave brought about by the Delta variant is behind us, authorities asked for these measures to be extended as pressure on hospitals remains high. On September 1, there were still 1,016 Covid-19 patients in hospitals throughout Catalonia, with 351 requiring ICU care.
Government and court criteria for implementing restrictions can be at odds, as was the case of the curfew, which as of a week ago is no longer in place anywhere in Catalonia.
While authorities sought to maintain the measure in Barcelona and other larger cities and towns after lowering the 7-day incidence rate for which the measure would be required, the court rejected the request, despite large nighttime gatherings at the Gràcia neighborhood festivities or the beach.
Catalonia was under a 10 pm to 6 am curfew from October 2020 to May 2021. The measure was then reinstated in mid-July from 1 am to 6 am as eased restrictions and the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant led to a surge in Covid-19 cases.