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Sagrada Família joins other cultural venues in closing its doors due to coronavirus

Sport and leisure also affected as football federation suspends La Liga matches


12 March 2020 06:07 PM



The ban on events with more than a thousand people due to the coronavirus outbreak, and the directive that those with fewer than a thousand must limit attendance to a third of the venue's capacity, continue to take its toll on the world of culture, leisure, and sport.

On Thursday, the board that manages Antoni Gaudí's Sagrada Família temple decided to halt all building work and visits to Barcelona's major tourist landmark from Friday, with no "fixed date" for the restrictions to be lifted.

Another of the country's major religious landmarks, the church on Montserrat mountain, has also imposed restrictions, limiting visits to the church to a third of its capacity. The tradition of touching or kissing the church's famous black madonna statue is also banned.

Nearby, the town of Olesa has suspended the first two performances of its passion play, which every year attracts thousands to see a live representation of Christ's final days. The two performances canceled were due to take place on March 15 and 21.

All La Liga matches postponed

Yet one of the biggest announcements on Thursday was the Spanish football federation's decision to call off all La Liga matches for the next two matchdays at least. That means FC Barcelona's upcoming game away at Mallorca has been postponed.

UEFA, Europe's football governing body, has postponed all of its competitions with games scheduled for next week (March 17-19). This means that FC Barcelona's second leg Champions League tie with Napoli, won't go ahead as planned, with no rescheduled date yet set. 

In tennis, the Barcelona Open, due to take place in April, has abeen cancelled after the ATP announced the suspension of all of its events for the next six weeks.

Movie theaters stay open at limited capacity

For the moment, movie theaters in Catalonia will remain open for business but will restrict audience capacity to a third for the next 15 days, a voluntary decision that the association of cinemas says shows its "commitment" to the health of employees and customers.

Meanwhile, Catalonia's national film archive, La Filmoteca de Catalunya, said it will remain open but will limit attendance to its screenings, which in some cases means only a few dozen people will be allowed in to see some films.

Concerts halls and theaters affected

The Razzmatazz and Apolo concert halls announced their temporary closures on Wednesday, and they were joined by the Jamboree Jazz, Jamboree Dance, Tarantos, and Moog concert halls on Thursday, which will remain closed until March 26.

The theaters of the Balaña Group will also close for the next two weeks, a decision that will affect the Coliseum, Tívoli, Borràs, and Club Capitol theaters, although the Sala Beckett and Aquitània theaters have decided to remain open at limited capacity.

Yesterday, Catalonia's National Theater (TNC) suspended its performances and public activities until March 26, while the Liceu opera house said it will not go ahead with the premiere of the opera 'Lohengrin', and the Victòria theater also decided to close.

Barcelona comic fair to go ahead

For the moment, the organizers of Comic Barcelona, which is due to be held from May 8 to 10, say that the 38th edition of the popular comic fair will go ahead, but they also said that they have a plan B and C depending on how the coronavirus outbreak develops.


  • Visitors outside Barcelona's Sagrada Família (by Joana Garreta)

  • Visitors outside Barcelona's Sagrada Família (by Joana Garreta)