No New Year's Eve parties in Catalonia: closure of nightclubs confirmed

High court keeps restrictions in place, including not allowing nightlife sector to operate and 1 am to 6 am curfew

A group of people inside the nightclub Shoko, after nightclubs were allowed to reopen, October 8, 2021 (by Marta Casado Pla)
A group of people inside the nightclub Shoko, after nightclubs were allowed to reopen, October 8, 2021 (by Marta Casado Pla) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

December 30, 2021 01:31 PM

Nightclubs will remain closed on New Year's Eve despite efforts from the sector to persuade authorities and judges to allow them to operate.

On Thursday early afternoon, the Catalan high court (TSJC) decided to dismiss the appeal of the Fecasarm association and accept the restrictions imposed by the Catalan government, including a closure of nightclubs including December 31 into January 1 and a curfew, also operating on New Year's Eve, from 1 am to 6 am.

Fecasarm had filed an urgent appeal to avoid having to cancel all parties and pay party-goers back their tickets, but judges rejected it and will only consider their petition in the coming days – the Catalan executive has been given until next Tuesday to have their say on the appeal against the measures. 

Nightclubs had argued that December 31 is one of their most important nights, and that a closure would increase skepticism on the utility to get vaccinated, but magistrates replied that this is not enough to make an urgent decision on the issue. They also reminded that general interest is based on safeguarding public health and on trying to avoid bringing health services to a standstill. 

The sector expects €90m losses for restaurants and €75m more for nightclubs. 

Not only will New Year's Eve parties have to be canceled in discos, bars with dance floors and similar. Last week, Barcelona's mayor, Ada Colau, announced that a show organized by the local council will no longer be held, even though it was already designed to avoid crowds.

Bars and restaurants to remain open until 1 am

From December 30, bars and restaurants are allowed to remain open until 1 am. However, establishments will have to close at 12:30 am, but consumers will still have around 30 minutes to leave the place.

The change in the Catalan government's protocol takes place after a Fecasarm request. The association highlights that this new regulation will avoid several fines that restaurants and bars had already received and will allow consumers to return home without any problem during the curfew, as they will have the restaurant ticket as proof of a valid activity.

Restrictions in place

From December 24 and at least until January 7, gatherings in Catalonia are limited to 10 people, there is a curfew from 1 am to 6 am in 126 municipalities, most of which with over 10,000 inhabitants and an incidence rate of over 250, the nightlife sector is forced to close, and new capacity limits are in place: 50% in indoor seating areas of restaurants and 70% in gyms, cultural venues, and stores.