Regional authorities announced that bars and restaurants must limit their opening times to cover breakfast and lunch only and not open for dinner and that people not travel outside their own county unless it for justified reason.
Starting on December 21st and continuing until at least January 11th, bars and restaurants will only open to the public from 7:30 to 9:30 am, and from 1 pm to 3:30 pm across the whole of the Catalonia region.
Although take away and delivery service will be allowed in the evenings, dining areas must remain shut.
Moreover, the number of people allowed around a table in a bar or restaurant is reduced to four unless they are from the same social bubble in which case, six people are allowed.
Catalan health authorities also decided that bars and restaurants in shopping malls will be closed to reduce social interaction.
“We hope to control the rise in infections without measures as restrictive as last March or October,” said regional vice-president Pere Aragonès during a press conference on Friday morning.
Restrictions preventing movement between comarques (the equivalent of counties) within the region, which have until now been in force each weekend, will be extended to weekdays.
A map showing each comarca within Catalonia. By Rwxrwxrwx -CC BY-SA
The rules ban people from traveling between counties for non-essential reasons but will allow visits to relatives, to visit a second residence or a hotel with the members of one’s social bubble.
The 10 pm to 6 am night curfew will remain in place throughout the Christmas holiday, with extensions until 1 am on December 24th and 31st, and until 11 pm on January 5, the eve of the Three Kings holiday.
Social gatherings continue to be limited to 6 people, with exceptions made on December 24th, 25th, 26th, 31st, and January 1st and 6th to allow 10 people from no more than two different social bubbles.
Catalonia maintains a closed border only allowing those to enter or leave if for justified reasons that include work or study but during the holiday period it will allow visits to family and closest friends (described as allegados, a term that has proved controversial) in line with national guidelines set by Spain's Health Ministry.