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Police controls in Catalonia's borders and key public transport to help compliance with restrictions

Essential activities only justification for leaving hometowns from Friday to Monday

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30 October 2020 12:22 PM

by

ACN | Barcelona

The first morning of the new Covid-19 restrictions being in force, on Friday, saw an increase of police controls in Catalonia's borders.

The new regulations state that only work, study, health reasons and care of dependent relatives justify going in or out of the country by train, bus or car.

Therefore, Mossos d'Esquadra officers performed controls in roads like N-340 at Cases d'Alcanar (Montsià county), the last Catalan town before crossing to the Valencia region – cars, rather than trucks, were usually stopped.

Drivers required self-responsibility certificates to justify that they were travelling to work or study. However, the police was not seen imposing fines, taking into account that it was the first morning with the measures in force since they were announced on Thursday.

The restrictions also include that from Friday at 6 am to Monday at 6 am, people are not allowed to leave the town or city they reside in.

To make sure that people comply with these measures, the Mossos plan controls in train and bus stations.

Over the weekend there will be police presence in key leisure and local tourism areas, as well as typical second home spots, such as the Pyrenees and counties like Ripollès.

Yet, authorities also rely on residents' adherence to the rules. "We have 5,000 officers available, but Catalonia is too big to have everything under control, therefore I trust the people," said Eduard Sallent, head of the Mossos.

He also reminded that it will be very useful for those who must cross the Catalan borders or leave their town on weekends to have the self-responsibility certificate and some extra paperwork justifying the journey.

Yet, on Friday morning, some towns in Costa Brava, such as Port de la Selva and Llançà, were reporting the arrival of second home owners and French residents skipping the government controls.

Villages like Palafrugell and Monells also reported a slight increase of arrivals, but they especially fear the coming weekend.

On Friday, other measures also came into force, such as the closure of malls, gyms and culture venues, with sports, leisure and after-school activities suspended.

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  • Mossos agent watches controls on the Valencian border, on October 30, 2020 (by Anna Ferràs)

  • Mossos agent watches controls on the Valencian border, on October 30, 2020 (by Anna Ferràs)

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