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Two-week ban on drinking alcohol in public places comes into force

Failure to comply with measure carries fine of up to €15,000

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29 July 2020 04:57 PM

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ACN | Barcelona

A ban on drinking alcohol in public places, such as parks, streets and beaches, came into force in Catalonia on Wednesday, after being signed into law by interior minister Miquel Buch and health minister Alba Vergés.

Local councils will be responsible for enforcing the measure, which will be in place for the next two weeks in an attempt to curb the resurgence of Covid-19.

Licensed premises are not affected by the ban, which has come about after a report from the Catalan Public Health Agency identified 'botellón' (groups of people coming together to drink alcohol on the street) as posing a risk of spreading infection.

Failure to comply with the new regulation will be considered a "serious offense" with penalties ranging from 3,001 to 15,000 euros.

Barcelona police break up gatherings

On Tuesday night, local police in Barcelona were already discouraging groups from drinking in the city's squares and on the beaches.

In Barceloneta, many groups of families and friends vacated the beaches at around 10 or 11pm, before Guardia Urbana officers broke up any remaining groups drinking alcohol at midnight.

Police also dispersed groups of young people drinking at Plaça Universitat and outside the MACBA museum.

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  • People drinking on Barceloneta beach in Barcelona the day before the ban came into force, July 28, 2020 (by Miquel Codolar)

  • People drinking on Barceloneta beach in Barcelona the day before the ban came into force, July 28, 2020 (by Miquel Codolar)

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