What you need to know to get into a nightclub from now on

Catalonia lifts restrictions on nightlife allowing for clubs to open until 5 during the week and 6 on weekends

A bartender pours a drink during the Sitges nightlife clinical trial in May 2021 (by Sitges town hall)
A bartender pours a drink during the Sitges nightlife clinical trial in May 2021 (by Sitges town hall) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

October 7, 2021 12:24 PM

After having their doors shut almost entirely since March 2020, barring a couple of weeks, nightlife returns to Catalonia from Thursday night after getting the official go-ahead from the High Court of Catalonia.

For some weeks until now, only outdoor areas of nightclubs have been able to open until 3 am. From Thursday, dancing will be allowed in indoor spaces until 5 am and until 6 am on Friday and Saturday nights. 

However, the main restriction on the reopening of nightclubs is that it is reserved for those who present Covid Digital Certificates, also known as ‘Covid passports.’

Covid passports are QR codes available to anybody that shows they have been fully vaccinated, they have recovered from the virus within the past six months, or else they have tested negative for the disease. 

Staff will have to scan the QR code with an application that will then indicate whether the person can be permitted access or not.

Apart from that, nightlife establishments will be able to open with 70% capacity, dancing will be allowed, and face masks will have to be worn at all times apart from when drinking or eating. 

Large clubs delay reopening

Most small venues are expected to reopen from this weekend, but many larger clubs are planning on delaying their reopening until next week.

Many large venues still have their staff on temporary layoffs and none want to take their workers out of the ERTO scheme “until they know they will be able to work at night,” Carmen Zapata, manager of the Association of Concert Halls of Catalonia (ASACC), explained to the Catalan News Agency. 

The ASACC manager has acknowledged that nightclubs have learned lessons from the past and are “cautious” about reopening. 

Lluís Torrent, president of ASACC and co-director of Razzmatazz in Barcelona, says that the venue will only open in the middle of next week as they prefer to do things “calmly.”

Torrent also pointed out that many large venues need to find more staff and pointed out that workers cannot be found between noon and midnight on Thursday.

However, smaller venues that don't require as many staff members to operate are expected to open their doors this weekend. 

Clubs won’t become “dance police”

As for the obligation to wear face masks in clubs, Zapata has responded that they cannot become “the dance police” to enforce it.

In the same vein, Torrent has warned that the measure of wearing a mask is impossible to comply with

"We will not be able to enforce the mask inside the room because it is evidence that everyone sees." 

He went on to explain that they will put up posters, but added that "they cannot act as police officers or create a public order problem and expel someone who does not want to put on the mask."