What Covid-19 measures will be in place over Christmas?

Catalonia will be in the third of the four-stage restriction de-escalation plan by December 25

A man wearing a face mask walks past festively decorated Christmas trees (by REUTERS/Peter Nicholls)
A man wearing a face mask walks past festively decorated Christmas trees (by REUTERS/Peter Nicholls) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

November 20, 2020 02:36 PM

Since October, Catalonia has been living under the strictest measures to fight the spread of Covid-19 seen since the spring. On Monday, the first set of these latest restrictions are going to be gradually lifted. 

Authorities announced on Thursday, November 19, that the de-escalation plan would be done in four phases, allowing Catalonia to slowly open up again. 

The plan is set to last until January 18, with the phases lasting two weeks each, although this date could be pushed back and restrictions could be maintained for longer depending on the evolution of the pandemic

The department of health are keeping track of important metrics such as the R number, ICU occupancy, and new daily cases to determine whether or not to advance into new phases. 

Assuming Catalonia goes through the four stages as planned, the country will be in the third phase of this de-escalation plan by Christmas. 

Here are the restrictions that will provisionally be in place from December 21 to January 4. 

Restriction of movement

The nightly curfew from 10 pm to 6 am will still be in place until the end of the four phases at least. The only exceptions are for justifiable reasons, such as work, caring for dependent people, or emergencies, and dogwalkers are allowed to bring pets out from 4 am. 

Borders will no longer be closed in the third stage of the de-escalation plan, meaning that people will be able to enter and leave Catalonia freely. 


People will be able to meet up in groups of a maximum of ten people. The group can be made up of two regular social bubbles, or one wider one. 


Shops and shopping centres will have the same rules in both stage three and stage two, scheduled to begin on December 7. 

Stores will be able to open and allow a maximum of 50% of their regular capacity for customers. Shopping centres will be able to accommodate 30% of their regular total capacity. 

Bars and restaurants

From November 23, bars and restaurants will be able to reopen again. Given the 10 pm curfew, they will have to close at 9.30 pm. 

In outdoor seating, establishments will be able to accommodate 100% of their regular capacity. Indoors, just 50% of the regular amount of customers will be allowed to sit. 

Tables, both indoor and outdoor, must be placed two metres apart from one another, and only four people will be allowed per table. 

Working and education

Working from home will still be strongly urged for everybody who can do so.

Kindergartens, primary, and secondary schools will remain open, covering students up to the age of 16. 

Leisure and after-school activities will be able to open again, with people organised into groups of 6.

The pre-university 'Batxillerat' programs and vocational training will operate remotely when possible, excluding exams and in-person activities. 

Sport and culture

Gyms and sports centres will be able to operate again. Indoor activities can operate at 50% capacity, while outdoor can have 70%. 

Cultural activities and places can open at 70% capacity, including cinemas, theatres, live music venues, museums, galleries, monuments, and libraries.

Religious ceremonies

By Christmas, religious ceremonies will be able to accommodate 50% of their regular capacity.