Government open to request for Barcelona to enter Phase 3 next Monday
Local council and restaurants ask health department to progress into last lockdown easing stage
The Catalan government is open to the request for Barcelona to move to lockdown de-escalation Phase 3 next Monday – Girona and Central Catalonia have been put forth as candidates to enter that stage, but the Catalan capital, its metropolitan area, and Lleida were left out of the original proposal made on Monday.
Every Friday or earlier, the Spanish government confirms or rejects the proposals made by regional governments for each province, health region, or territory.
On Wednesday, Catalan health minister Alba Vergés said that "the indicators for Barcelona are very good," but that the usual minimum period spent in each phase is two weeks – the city is currently in its first Phase 2 week.
Yet, she also said that they "do not rule out" any possibility.
Indeed, Barcelona's local council has been lobbying to be included in the final proposal for Phase 3 regions for the past few days.
On Monday, Mayor Ada Colau said that "it should not be a problem" for Barcelona to move forward in the de-escalation plant if the figures are similar to those of regions that will be progressing to Phase 3.
The city's main restaurants' association, the Gremi de Restauració, joined Colau on Tuesday to ask that Barcelona move to the final stage.
"We cannot progress in terms of de-escalation with the emergency brake set. We are late and Barcelona cannot take more time to reactivate," said the head of the association, Roger Pallarols.
"We encourage modifying [the proposal] in the coming hours. The pandemic is evolving favorably and we cannot allow the virus to hinder strategic sectors like restaurants even more," he added.
The Tarragona, Ebre river area and western Catalan Pyrenees health regions were the first to progress to Phase 3 on June 8, with Girona and Central Catalonia likely to join on June 15. As of yet, Barcelona and Lleida have only been proposed to stay in Phase 2.