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Most Covid-19 restrictions lifted in Catalonia

Capacity limits removed in almost all settings as cases continue to fall

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15 October 2021 09:32 AM

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ACN|Barcelona

Almost all of Catalonia's Covid-19 restrictions were lifted on Friday as case numbers continue to fall.

There are no longer any capacity limits in most settings as they have once again been set at 100% in restaurants, cultural venues, outdoor sports, universities, and trade shows. 

Restaurants have also recovered their pre-pandemic opening hours, as have other kinds of establishments, and will no longer have a ten-person per table limit. 

The latest set of measures, which were published in Catalonia's official gazette (DOGC) on Friday morning, do specify that capacity in indoor sports venues will be set at 80% while it will remain at 70% in nightclubs. 

EU Covid certificates demonstrating proof of vaccination, a negative PCR or antigen test, or of having had Covid-19 in the past 6 months are required for access into nightclubs as well as other indoor concert venues where attendees are not seated. 

And while there is no limit on gatherings, authorities recommend that they remain of 10 people or fewer.

Indoor places that are open to the public must be adequately ventilated, while crowd control mechanisms need to be in place at large events and establishments to prevent crowding. 

Face masks still needed

Both Catalan and Spanish health authorities agree that the face mask mandate cannot yet be lifted, especially as flu season is about to begin. 

On Thursday, Catalan health minister Josep Maria Argimon said in an interview with Rac1 radio station that "we will have to wear face masks during the autumn and winter" because "other respiratory viruses" have a strong impact on the population the coldest time of the year.

Face masks are required in most indoor spaces open to the public, including shops and public transport, as well as outdoors when 1.5-meter distances cannot be kept between people from different social bubbles. 

Transmission rate under 1

Pandemic-related metrics continue to improve in Catalonia following a Delta-driven surge in cases over the summer.

The transmission rate currently stands at 0.80 infections per patient diagnosed with the virus - far lower than the July 6 peak of 3.39. Meanwhile, the outbreak risk (or EPG, calculated by multiplying the average spread of the virus over the past seven days by the cumulative incidence over the past two weeks) remains 'moderate', at 40, although it is approaching the 'low-risk' threshold. 

As of October 14, 2021, official figures, released daily on this website, state there have been 995,776 confirmed Covid-19 cases (PCR tests and others including antibody tests), while a total of 23,952 people with or suspected to have had the virus have died since the beginning of the outbreak according to funeral homes.

5,939,927 residents have been given the first dose of a vaccine, 74.9% of the total population. Of these, 5,100,271 have also received a second dose (64.5% of the total population), and 5,817,761 residents are considered to be fully immunized (73.3%). Under 65s who have already had the virus are only required to have the first dose, and others have received a single-dose jab.

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