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Barcelona residents react to newly imposed curfew and additional COVID restrix amid Omicron surge

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Catalonia imposed a new curfew and additional COVID-19 restrictions starting Thursday night, which resulted in empty streets in the Catalan capital of Barcelona at night.

On Thursday, the Supreme Court of Catalonia (TSJC) upheld the application of the curfew from 1:00 to 6:00 in the morning, one of the strictest measures adopted by the regions in Spain.

The curfew applies to all municipalities with more than 10,000 inhabitants where the 14-day incidence rate exceeds 250 cases per 100,000.

A similar curfew was already imposed during Christmas 2020. The new restrictions will apply from Friday morning for at least two weeks. In addition to the nightly curfew, the TSJC supported other government proposals to contain the spread of the virus, such as reducing capacity to 70 percent in all sectors and 50 percent inside restaurants and bars, limiting meetings to no more than ten people from different households and the closure of nightlife to avoid social interactions in crowds.

Residents of Barcelona expressed understanding of the newly imposed restrictions.

“The new restrictions seem completely necessary and really useful because we’ve seen that everything is going out of control. So everything that means a measure to contain the pandemic seems correct and necessary,” said Josep Lluis Gonzalez, a resident.

Bar and restaurant owners demand better compensation for the losses they have to take due to the limited capacity regulation.

“They should beef up the healthcare system, of course, and then if they think that the hotel and catering industry harms the Covid system, prepare aid to solve it,” said Antonio Gonzalez, owner of Rocxi Bar.

After COVID measures were relaxed in the summer due to a high vaccination rate, the new Omicron variant brought a record wave of more than 72,900 daily cases on Thursday.

SOT: Antonio Gonzalez, Owner of Rocxi Bar (Spanish): “People get out less, they came less and it’s about 50 per cent less work. It’s like that.”

SOT: Antonio Gonzalez, Owner of Rocxi Bar (Spanish): “They should beef up the healthcare system, of course, and then if they think that the hotel and catering industry harms the Covid system, prepare aid to solve it. Real aid, no breadcrumbs that chickens eat, real aid for the losses that we have could be compensated to go ahead because the thing isn’t working well and if we put this over it, for sure more than one will close.”

SOT, Ingrid, Owner of Cafeterapia (Spanish): “This impacts me at 100 percent, because we can’t have a terrace because I have a kiosk and a handicapped ramp in front, so they don’t accept it, and having the 50 percent inside impacts me at maximum. It’s shitty luck, especially at the time that we’re in when we have much work.”

SOT, Josep Lluis Gonzalez, Citizen (Catalan): “The new restrictions seem completely necessary and really useful because we’ve seen that everything is going out of control. So everything that means a measure to contain the pandemic seems correct and necessary.”

SOT, Toni, Citizen (Catalan): “The restrictions that had come out recently, I particularly, I agree with them, like a mask on the street, in closed environments some restrictions are ok, but in restaurants where there is enough distance I think it’s unfair, especially for the restaurant industry, that is having really hard times. I think that the distance is respected, there is no place for these restrictions. For the nightlife, it is a different thing, because I think that people lose control.”

#Spain #Barcelona #COVID19#coronavirus #curfew

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