Catalonia bans restaurant dinners and limits opening times to breakfast and lunch

Government tightens restrictions as coronavirus cases soar ahead of Christmas holidays

A bar worker closes up a terrace in Santa Clara de Girona on November 23, 2020 (by Xavier Pi)
A bar worker closes up a terrace in Santa Clara de Girona on November 23, 2020 (by Xavier Pi) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

December 18, 2020 10:14 AM

The Catalan government will shut bars and restaurants during dinner time, limiting their opening hours to serve only breakfast and lunch, as part of the latest string of coronavirus restrictions announced ahead of the Christmas season.

Starting on December 21, bars and restaurants will only open to the public from 7:30 to 9:30 am, and from 1 pm to 3:30 pm. Take away and delivery food will be available at the usual dinner service time, but dining areas must remain shut.

Catalan authorities also announced on Friday that bars and restaurants in shopping malls will be closed to reduce social interaction.

"We hope to control the rise in infections without measures as restrictive as last March or October," said vice president Pere Aragonès during a press conference to tighten Covid-19 measures. He also admitted, however, that tighter restrictions "are always on the table."

Mobility restrictions, up until now in force on weekends, will be extended to weekdays and will ban traveling outside the county for non-essential reasons, with exceptions for visits to relatives, moving to a second residence, or going to a hotel with the members of one’s social bubble.

The 10 pm to 6 am night curfew will remain in place throughout the Christmas holiday, with extensions until 1 am on December 24 and 31, and until 11 pm on January 5, the eve of the Three Kings holiday.

Social gatherings continue to be limited to 6 people, with exceptions on December 24, 25, 26, 31, and January 1 and 6 for 10 people from no more than two different social bubbles

Sports centers and gyms that are not in shopping centers can remain open with a 30% capacity limit, but the only activities allowed will be low-intensity ones, compatible with the use of face masks. More demanding sports activities will have to be outdoors.