Nightlife sector to close indoors from Friday to halt spread of Covid-19

Large events allowed to take place as long as antigen tests are carried out or attendees are fully vaccinated

People dancing at a nightclub in Salou (by Ariadna Escoda)
People dancing at a nightclub in Salou (by Ariadna Escoda) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

July 6, 2021 12:23 PM

Catalonia's once-bustling nightlife sector will have to close its indoor areas once again on Friday as Covid-19 cases continue on the rise, reaching the highest outbreak risk levels since the pandemic began.

A mere two weeks after reopening following a 15-month pandemic-related closure, nightclubs and late-night bars will have to put a significant part of their activity on hold from July 9 for at least 15 days. Outdoor seating areas, on the other hand, will still be open to the public until 3 am. 

Large events with over 500 people, including music festivals, will still be allowed to take place as long as antigen testing is carried out or attendees are fully vaccinated. PCR tests carried out within the previous 12 hours will also be accepted as proof of negative Covid-19 status. 

"We must take a few steps back," government spokesperson Patrícia Plaja said, citing the increase in cases among younger, unvaccinated people.

According to her, face mask use outdoors should be made mandatory again, but legislating on the matter currently falls within the Spanish government's jurisdiction, which is why Catalan authorities have asked Madrid to consider changing the regulation. 

Nightlife sector to appeal measure

FECASARM, the Catalan Federation of Restaurant and Musical Activities Associations, has already announced it will appeal the government's decision before the Catalan High Court (TSJC).

Following a meeting with health minister Josep Maria Argimon, FECASARM secretary-general Joaquim Boadas complained that the sector was "being scapegoated."

Outbreak risk higher than ever

The risk of Covid-19 outbreaks is at its highest levels since the pandemic began, surpassing 1,000 in this indicator for the first time. 

The figure now stands at 1,281, jumping 303 points in this pandemic indicator since the last update on Monday. 

The outbreak risk has skyrocketed over the past fortnight or so, from 79 on June 18 - levels considered a ‘moderate’ risk. 

Vaccination rollout campaign

As of July 5, 2021, 4,366,745 residents have been given the first dose of the vaccine, 55.6% of the total population. Out of those, 2,904,709 have also been administered a second dose (37% of the total population). 

3,225,089 residents are considered to be fully immunized (41.1%). 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.