Most Covid measures except closure of nightclubs to be lifted on Friday

Government still considering possible changes to health certificate use

People at a bar in Girona's Plaça de Catalunya on December 21, 2021 (by Eduard Pi)
People at a bar in Girona's Plaça de Catalunya on December 21, 2021 (by Eduard Pi) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

January 25, 2022 12:46 PM

Most Covid-19 restrictions in Catalonia will be lifted at midnight on Thursday into Friday, although nightclubs will remain closed and EU certificates will still be required for entry into certain businesses.

This decision, made public on Tuesday morning and confirmed by the government spokesperson in the early afternoon, means there will no longer be a 10-person limit on gatherings, nor will there be Covid-related capacity limits or opening time restrictions in places such as restaurants, cultural venues, gyms, or religious and civil ceremonies. 

Restaurants have only been able to open their indoor seating areas at 50% capacity, while non-essential stores, cultural and sports activities as well as civil and religious ceremonies and amusement parks are currently limited at 70%. From Friday, however, they will be allowed to open at 100%. 

"In this stage of the pandemic, such measures are no longer needed or justified," government spokesperson Patrícia Plaja said, who also argued that restrictions have been useful until now. "Before the measures were enforced, 100 new people ended up in serious condition in hospitals, we are no longer in this scenario." 

She added that the Covid-19 situation is plateauing, but it lies in a "fragile balance." 

"Omicron is highly transmissible, but if vaccinated, the impact is lower," she also said, highlighting that new cases are still very high. 

Authorities are yet to decide on the future use of EU Covid certificates and are set to receive a report on the matter from the Scientific Advisory Committee as some have voiced concerns regarding its effectiveness given how easily the Omicron variant is spread. 

Proof of vaccination or having recently had the virus or testing negative is needed in restaurants, concert halls, gyms, or to visit nursing homes. 

More than 2 million Covid-19 cases

As of January 24, 2022, official figures, released daily on this website, state there have been 2,036,074 confirmed Covid-19 cases (PCR tests and others including antibody tests), while 25,419 have died. 

6,446,361 residents have been given the first dose of the vaccine, 81.5% of the total population. Out of those, 5,632,594 have also been administered a second dose (71.2% of the total population). 6,168,487 residents are considered to be fully immunized (77.5%).  

Under 65s who have already had the virus are only required to have the first dose, and others have received a single-dose jab. Therefore, the % of two doses administered and % fully immunized do not match.

Catalonia has administered 2,895,426 third doses (36.9%). Official data show that 40.7% of residents have received a booster shot (which includes those who had a third jab plus people who only got one jab in the initial vaccination series and then received a booster, their second shot).