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Reduced activity while locals lament closure of bars in Barcelona

Various establishments closed entirely, others open for takeaway, while some used opportunity to deep clean premises


16 October 2020 02:02 PM


Cillian Shields | Barcelona

Catalonia’s new Covid-19 measures came into force as of Friday, with the most impactful restriction on society being the fact that all bars and restaurants are forced to shut

Around Barcelona city centre, some locals lamented the fact that they were unable to sit down at their preferred breakfast spots, with one man in the Barceloneta neighbourhood calling the closures “a pity” outside a café located in a square that would normally have over a dozen chairs with customers eating and drinking from morning to night.

With no enforced restrictions on the movement of people, some groups visited bars, cafés, and restaurants this morning to pick up takeaway coffees, pastries, and sandwiches, but overall the Catalan capital saw hugely reduced activity in areas that would normally be bustling with life.

Many bars and restaurants chose to close entirely, despite having the possibility of offering takeaway and delivery services. 

Other establishments took the opportunity to perform a deep clean of the premises, disinfect and cleaning the windows, chairs, and tables. 

In order to prevent customers from entering, improvised barricades were set up in many bars, comprising of tables, chairs, and barrels. Some places closed doors and served through a window. 

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. 

New Covid-19 measures 

The Catalan government gazette (DOGC) officially published the new Covid-19 measures announced this week on Friday at 1am, automatically putting them into effect at that time.

As explained on Wednesday, the new restrictions are due to the pandemic second wave and will be in effect for two weeks until October 30, but could be extended further.

The new regulations establish a 30% capacity limit for stores, and 50% for sports facilities and cultural activities.

Congresses and fairs have to be suspended, as well as sports competitions, as casinos, bookmakers, amusement parks and fairgrounds have to close – also businesses that involve physical contact, except for hairdressers.

Parks must close from 8pm, and museums, libraries and monuments can remain open.


  • Image of a bar shut in Barcelona after new Covid-19 measures were enforced on October 16, 2020 (by Cristina Tomàs White)

  • Image of a bar shut in Barcelona after new Covid-19 measures were enforced on October 16, 2020 (by Cristina Tomàs White)