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Covid restrictions eased for gyms, large stores, universities and school trips

British variant detected in schools and nursing homes, accounts for 40% of total new infections

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26 February 2021 10:53 AM

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ACN | Barcelona

Catalan authorities have announced plans to ease some Covid-19 restrictions from next Monday, which will slightly free up shopping centers, schools, and gyms.

School trips can resume as long as students stay within their social bubble. 

The Catalan government is also working to ensure in-person courses for second year university students can resume from March 8.

The government has confirmed that shopping malls and large stores can reopen on weekdays at 30% capacity, as reported on Thursday night. Large stores must limit their area to 400 square meters.

Restrictions on gyms and sports will also become less strict, with the capacity limit for indoors activities relaxed to 30%, and to 50% for activities held in the open air.

Other measures to fight the spread of Covid-19 will remain in place, such as the curfew from 10 pm to 6 am, the county-level mobility restrictions, or the reduced opening times for bars and restaurants (from 7.30 to 10.30 am, and from 1 to 4.30 pm.

The British variant accounts for 40% of all new cases

Catalan authorities have ruled out a more ambitious reopening of the economy. While the restrictions’ package passed after the Christmas holiday season brought the number of new infections down, the transmission rate is once again on an upwards trend.

The more infectious Covid-19 strain first detected in the United Kingdom already accounts for 40% of new cases, and is having an effect on schools and nursing homes, said the Public Health secretary Josep Maria Argimón.

Women's Day protests

The Catalan government will authorize rallies for International Women's Day on March 8, despite concerns that large gatherings could contribute to the spread of the virus.

The right to protest must be respected, said Catalan officials, who also stressed that demonstrations must comply with all health measures.

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