Barcelona halts Grec festival due to the new Covid-19 restrictions
Sport and cultural venues close in capital as beaches, bars and restaurants remain open
The new Covid-19 restrictions set by the Catalan government in Barcelona's metropolitan area have led the capital to halt its main summer cultural event, Grec, with a program of 108 shows.
The city's mayor, Ada Colau, announced on Sunday evening that she was "reluctantly" stopping the festival after Catalonia's civil protection authorities banned cultural and sporting activities – although they are open to exceptions if city councils make requests.
Indeed, Colau explained on Monday that her government has already asked for Grec to be able to continue, as well as Cruïlla XXS, a festival of small-scale concerts organized over the summer.
For her, "the culture sector is acting very well" to prevent the virus and she thinks it is "incoherent" to halt such events while beaches, bars and restaurants are allowed to remain open.
Colau hopes that on Monday the civil protection crisis committee, Procicat, will accept the exceptions requested.
The culture sector has also sided against the prohibition of festivals and shows, on the grounds that they have adapted to the new circumstances and are complying with the Covid-19 safety measures.
Beaches, street markets, bars, outdoor pools allowed to open
What is certain is that on Sunday evening Procicat accepted that beaches and street markets can remain open, as well as bars and restaurants, but asked local governments to regulate the times of bars, restaurants and terraces to avoid late-night eating and drinking.
Gyms are banned, as well as sports centers, both private and public, but doing sport outdoors is allowed in groups of up to ten people.
As for outdoor swimming pools, civil protection authorities allowed them to open if local authorities think "their preventive use is needed to manage the effects of heat on the population."