Spain considering 11pm curfew for bars and 1am for nightclubs

Public health committee discusses tightening Covid restrictions as incidence rate approaches 150

A restaurant terrace in Sant Feliu de Guíxols (by Gemma Tubert)
A restaurant terrace in Sant Feliu de Guíxols (by Gemma Tubert) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

November 23, 2021 10:52 AM

Spain is considering tightening Covid-19 restrictions again due to the current surge in transmissions, with limited opening hours for nightclubs among the measures being discussed.

The public health committee, including the Spanish health ministry and those of regional governments such as Catalonia's, could propose an 11pm curfew for bars and restaurants, and force nightclubs to close at 1am, the ministry confirmed to the Catalan News Agency (ACN) after newspaper La Vanguardia published the story.

At the same time, it is expected that on Tuesday from 12.30pm the Catalan government might announce extending the use of the Covid-19 certificate into bars, restaurants and theaters

Bars, cafes and restaurants have been able to operate with their pre-pandemic opening times since October 15, while nightclubs have been allowed to employ their usual timetable both indoors and outdoors since October 8. 

Yet, a few weeks after most restrictions were lifted, Covid-19 indicators have begun to grow, albeit not by as much as in many other European countries.

As of November 22, the outbreak risk is showing a sharp upwards trend, at 220 – above the 'very high' threshold of 200 for the first time since August 26. This figure is four times higher than in early November.

The outbreak risk is found by multiplying the average spread of the virus over the past seven days by the cumulative incidence over the past two weeks.

Similarly, the transmission rate, the average number of times somebody who tests positive for Covid-19 transmits the virus to another person, is also going up – as of November 22 it stands at 1.42.

Adjustment of at-risk thresholds

The incidence rate of the last 14 days is 158 people per 100,000 inhabitants in Catalonia (132 in Spain as a whole), double the figure recorded 10 days ago.

The same sources confirm that the committee is considering adjusting the current at-risk thresholds: the 'medium' level of risk is now at 150 cases per 100,000 inhabitants and above, but authorities may lower it to 100, with the high number of vaccinations administered and the lower numbers of serious cases being seen as reasons to justify the change.