Government to ask court for 2-week extension of Covid measures

Pending magistrates' approval, 10-person cap on gatherings and curfew affecting 132 municipalities will continue

Barcelona's La Rambla boulevard during the first night of the curfew on December 24, 2021 (by Laura Fíguls)
Barcelona's La Rambla boulevard during the first night of the curfew on December 24, 2021 (by Laura Fíguls) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

January 3, 2022 06:08 PM

The Catalan government will ask the high court (TSJC) for a two-week extension of the Covid-19 measures announced just before Christmas.

If judges greenlight the move, a 10-person cap on gatherings both indoors and outdoors, in public and in private, will be extended from this Friday until January 20, and a curfew between 1am and 6am will remain in force in 132 municipalities, affecting the vast majority of the population. 

The executive made the decision on Wednesday afternoon and the civil protection emergency committee Procicat will confirm it on Tuesday. 

Curfew to affect 133 municipalities

Eight more towns have been included in the curfew: Alcarràs, Castell-Platja d'Aro, Cunit, el Vendrell, Mont-roig del Camp, Salt, Torroella de Montgrí, and Vilanova i la Geltrú.

124 municipalities with over 10,000 inhabitants and an incidence rate in the past seven days of over 250 are affected by the measure – the same criteria as before –, as well as nine other towns (again, the same as before) that do not fulfill these parameters but are included because they are surrounded by others with a curfew. Both Catalan and local authorities want to avoid potential party-goers gathering en masse in such municipalities. 

Covid-19 health passes are still required for entry into restaurants and gyms. There is also a 50% capacity limit in the indoor seating areas of restaurants (no capacity limit on outdoor terraces), as well as a 70% capacity limit in gyms, and similar indoor sports centers, stores, and cultural venues, such as cinemas, concert halls, and theaters. Mourning sites and funerals will also accept only 70% of the usual capacity. 

Working from home will remain the default within the Catalan public administration and is recommended for private businesses too.

Pending court go-ahead

As the cap on gatherings and curfew limit individual rights and freedoms, the request to implement them must be approved by the Catalan high court. If given the go-ahead, they will be extended with the other measures – which are already sure to be prolonged – on Thursday at midnight and remain in place for at least two more weeks until January 20.