Q&A: What you can and can’t do under Catalonia’s new restrictions

Q&A: What you can and can't do under Catalonia’s new restrictions
Photos: AFP
Spain's northeastern region of Catalonia became the latest region to order new restrictions amid a surge of new coronavirus cases.

Here's the answer to common questions about what you can and can't do under the new restrictions, which come into force on late on Thursday night and will last until at least November 2nd. 

Can I meet friends for a drink in a bar or a cafe?

No, for the next 15 days, across the whole of Catalonia, all bars, even those with outdoor tables, will be closed.

Can I go out for dinner?

Again, all restaurants are closed except those serving food for home delivery or takeaway.

What about hotel restaurants?

They will only be allowed to serve guests who are staying at the hotel.

So that means hotels are open?

Yes, some but not all hotels are still open, but they have reduced occupancy and occupation limits of 50 percent within public spaces.

Can I meet friends or family anywhere?

Yes, as long as social gatherings are limited to six people maximum meeting either in the home or in a public place such as a park.

That said, the Generalitat is recommending that people avoid social interaction and to avoid trips outside of the home unless they are strictly necessary.

Can I go to work?

Yes, although the regional government has recommended that people work from home where possible. Those who do have to go into the work place are reminded to take extra care with social distancing and tighten hygiene measures.

Are the schools remaining open? 

Yes, schools aren't covered by the new restrictions but are still operating in bubbles and with strict procedures for dealing with suspected outbreaks. 

READ ALSO: What happens when there is a Covid-19 outbreak at a school in Spain?

What about universities?

Classes in person have been suspended until November 2nd under the restrictions at all universities across Catalonia. Instead, classes will be given on line. 

Any changes to public transport?

Public transport will be working as normal, according to authorities with usual services provided. However masks are mandatory and hand santizer gel must be provided at all stations.

Are gyms open?

Yes, but they are limited to 50 percent of normal occupancy and appointments for training or classes must be made in advance.

What about sports events?

All sporting competitions, whether school, state-run or private, have been suspended for the next 15 days to limit travel of athletes around the region. But training sessions are allowed to continue and so sports facilities will remain open.

Can I still go to the shops?

Yes, all shops, stores, markets can remain open but with the occupancy limited to 30 percent as long as they can guarantee clients can maintain a distance of 1.5metres between each other.

What about hairdressers and beauty salons?

Hairdressing salons are allowed to remain open as long as they operate with advanced appointments and limit numbers in the salon but beauty treatments that involve close bodily contact such as massages or cosmetic treatments are suspended.

Can I go to the cinema or theatre?

Yes, but the occupancy of cultural spaces such as these are limited to 50 percent with assigned seats.

Can I go to a park?

Yes, parks and children’s playground will remain open but only until 8pm.

What about amusement parks?

No, these will be closed until at least the end of October.

Are bingo halls and casinos open?

No. These type of places, as well as nightclubs have been closed since the start of the State of Emergency lockdown in March and have not been allowed to reopen.

What about religious services?

Yes, religious services, including mass, funerals and weddings are allowed to continue but with a reduced capacity of 50 percent.

Are the beaches still open?

Yes. A walk on the beach is fine but don't gather with more than six people. 

Can I travel freely within the Catalonia region?

Yes, there is no restriction on mobility and travel is allowed between municipalities and there is no restriction on entering or exiting the region. However, authorities are recommending that people only undertake essential travel.

Will fines be issued for breaking the restrictions?

Yes. Miquel Samper, the regional Interior Minister confirmed that penalties will range from €300 to €6,000 depending on the severity of the breach.

He asked for the collaboration of citizens to report those in breach of the restrictions.

When do the restrictions come into force?  

At midnight on Thursday night and they will last until at least November 2nd. 

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