As many European countries are finally beginning to lift COVID-19 restrictions, including France and the UK, some are not as lucky. Spain has seen a recent spike in cases and implemented further restrictions as a result.
In an attempt to control rising COVID-19 cases, Barcelona announced the closure of indoor nightclubs starting Friday, July 9th. Outdoor events are still permitted, fortunately, with a curfew of 3 AM. These new restrictions will be valid for 15 days, in an effort to reduce pressure on the region’s hospitals and primary care centers.
“We must take measures and we need to stop social interaction. There is a general relaxation and it seems that in certain areas the pandemic has ended. Relaxation increases in spaces with many people.”Patrícia Plaja (Catalan government spokesperson)
Other regions of Spain have implemented similar measures as cases spike throughout the country. Although 40% of Spain’s population is fully vaccinated, only one in ten within the 20-29 age group have received both doses.
In March, Barcelona’s Palau Sant Jordi hosted an event with 5,000 attendees. It was part of a coronavirus study to determine if rapid testing systems could effectively prevent outbreaks at larger events. In June, Catalonia’s nightclubs reopened at 50% capacity. Since then, positive cases have quadrupled among young adults in Barcelona.
“They had the opportunity to use the sector as a strategic ally if they were tested to enter, and this meant a massive screening among young people, mostly unvaccinated,” said the president of Fecasarm, the Catalonian nightlife sector’s employer’s association. “Instead, they have opted for the wrong decision, which is to sacrifice the legal sector, which will lead to an increase in the practice of illegal nightlife and an increase in infections because in these spaces there are no health or safety measures.”