10-person limit on gatherings greenlighted by High Court

Covid certificates and capacity limits to remain in place as measures extended for at least another week

Mandatory EU Covid certificates to enter a bar in Catalonia on December 3, 2021 (by Aina Martí)
Mandatory EU Covid certificates to enter a bar in Catalonia on December 3, 2021 (by Aina Martí) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

January 20, 2022 03:10 PM

Catalonia’s High Court greenlighted the extension of Covid-19 measures to stop the spread of the virus. Whereas the 1 to 6 am curfew will be lifted on Friday 21, other restrictions will remain in place. Residents to follow a 10-person limit on gatherings and keep using Covid passes.

Other restrictions will limit mass gatherings to a 70% capacity as well as civil ceremonies, 50% capacity limits in the indoor seating areas of bars and restaurants and a 70% cap in non-essential stores, as well as the closure of nightclubs.

Catalan interior minister Joan Ignasi Elena urged people "to be responsible as the curfew will be lifted, but the 10-person limit on gatherings remains in place."

"The health situation" he added "is evolving and we must adapt measures to it when needed." 

These measures will be reviewed on a weekly rather than 15-day basis due to the rapidly evolving nature of the health crisis, Catalan government spokesperson Patrícia Plaja explained on Tuesday. 

On Monday, health minister Josep Maria Argimon informed the press of his decision to ask the Covid-19 scientific advisory committee to issue a report on the use of health passes for entry into restaurants and other establishments given the highly contagious nature of the Omicron variant. But for now, this additional measure will remain in place too. 

"We cannot afford the consequences of not implementing restrictions during this sixth wave in which all records have been broken," Plaja said.

While the current wave of infections is yet to peak, Plaja explained that experts believed it could be a matter of only a few days before it did. But the rapid spread of Omicron, she said, made it harder for epidemiologists to compare this wave to prior ones. 

Covid-19 in Catalonia

As of January 19, 2022, official figures, released daily on this website, state there have been 1,872,022 confirmed Covid-19 cases (PCR tests and others including antibody tests).

The vaccine rollout began in Catalonia on December 27, 2020. As of January 19, 2022, 6,429,967 residents have been given the first dose of the vaccine, 81.2% of the total population. Out of those, 5,601,669 have also been administered a second dose (70.8% of the total population). 6,154,511 residents are considered to be fully immunized (77.3%).  

Booster shots are currently being given to people aged 18 to 29 whose second dose was 8 months ago or more30 to 3940 to 4950 to 5960 to 6970 and overimmunocompromised peoplecare home residents, and anyone who received the Janssen vaccine. On December 16, authorities also approved them for those who had AstraZeneca at least three months ago, regardless of their age.  

As of January 19, 2022, Catalonia has administered 2,747,461 third doses (35%). Official data show that 38.5% of residents have received a booster shot (which includes those who had a third jab plus people who only got one jab in the initial vaccination series and then received a booster, their second shot).