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All new Covid-19 measures confirmed after judges ratify restrictions

Bars shut for two weeks while capacities reduced in shops, gyms, and at cultural events

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16 October 2020 01:49 PM

by

ACN | Barcelona

The High Court of Catalonia has ratified the new Covid-19 measures implemented by the Catalan government to halt the spread of the virus. 

The new measures — the most restrictive to be adopted since the peak of the first wave of the pandemic in March — came into force with some issues concerning "fundamental rights" on hold, as the High Court was yet to have their say. 

Three measures were temporarily withdrawn as a result of the issue, but they have now been put into effect. Specifically, the prohibition on social gatherings of more than six people, the suspension of in-person classes at universities, and a 50% capacity limit for religious ceremonies.

Yet, the document in government's official gazette signed by the health and interior ministers, which made the measures official from the executive's side, establishes that while the court did not have its say, a prior regulation already prohibiting gatherings of more than six people was still in force.

Besides, Catalonia's public universities already announced earlier this week that in-person lectures would be replaced for online lessons from this Thursday, so the measure was already in force. 

Elsewhere, bars and restaurants will be shut for the next 15 days, but they will be able to offer takeaway and delivery services. 

Capacities in shops are reduced to 30%, while gyms and cultural events will only be able to allow 50% of their maximum capacities. 

All congresses and fairs will be suspended.

The government had made the restrictions official on their side when publishing them in the official gazette at 1 am on Friday despite the fact that the courts had yet to have their say. 

For a detailed list of the new restrictions now in place across Catalonia, click here.

Restaurants owners protest

Angry over the new measures forcing them to close their shutters, bar and restaurant owners protested against the restrictions outside the Catalan government headquarters building in the centre of Barcelona. 

Eggs and plates were thrown at the front door of the building, while demonstrators chanted for the executive to step down. Other chants of "We want to eat, we want to work" were also heard. 

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  • A bar owner in northern Catalonia stacks chairs and gathers terrace tables together when Covid-19 restrictions were implemented preventing bars from opening on October 16, 2020 (by Xavier Pi)

  • A bar owner in northern Catalonia stacks chairs and gathers terrace tables together when Covid-19 restrictions were implemented preventing bars from opening on October 16, 2020 (by Xavier Pi)

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