Government will not immediately bring in new legal framework for extra Covid restrictions beyond May 9

Cabinet to spend more time to think whether strengthening legislation to avoid judicial blocks to potential new Covid-19 measures


Image of the Catalan cabinet meeting on May 4, 2021 (by Rubén Moreno/Catalan government)
Image of the Catalan cabinet meeting on May 4, 2021 (by Rubén Moreno/Catalan government) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

May 4, 2021 03:18 PM

The Catalan government will not employ a new legal framework to introduce Covid-19 restrictions beyond May 9, at least for now. 

The end of the state of alarm this Sunday will mean that the Catalan government might no longer have the constitutional authority to pass the measures needed to contain the spread of the virus, because courts could reverse any laws which restrict the freedom of movement, such as the curfew, or controls over the size of gatherings.

In order to avoid potential blocks by the Catalan high court, the executive was working on creating a regulatory framework that would allow it to enforce its own measures beyond May 8 if deemed necessary. 

Yet, the Catalan News Agency (ACN) found out that the cabinet now believes that strengthening legislation is no longer needed – interim president Pere Aragonès confirmed it afterwards.

They say that a modification to the public health law was already introduced last summer in order to enforce a lockdown in the Segrià county via decree.

Yet, around the same time the regional court in Lleida ruled against the cabinet and overturned a decree imposing a new lockdown on the city, while accusing the regional executive of overstepping its authority.

Even in the event that the government did introduce a new legal framework to pass potential restrictions beyond May 9, any decision would still be subject to the judiciary's approval.

On Tuesday at 1 pm, the interim president, Pere Aragonès, and the cabinet spokesperson, Meritxell Budó, appeared before the media to confirm that curfew and the closure of borders will come to an end on May 9 at 12 am. 

Yet, the cap on the size of gatherings is maintained at 6, which will need the judiciary's approval beyond May 8 because it goes against fundamental rights.