What are Catalonia’s new Covid-19 restrictions?

The Catalan authorities have announced new Covid-19 restrictions, from January 7th, that will last for 10 days.

What are Catalonia's new Covid-19 restrictions?
Image: Lluis Gene / AFP

The Catalan Regional Health Minister Alba Vergés announced the new restrictions at a press conference on January 4th. Here’s what you need to know.

  • Borders of each municipality will be closed every day of the week. Currently, they are only closed on weekends. Movement is not allowed to visit second homes or to visit family, unless they specifically need care and attention.
  • Meetings are still limited to six people at a time, except on Wednesday January 6th, Three Kings’ Day, when a maximum of 10 will be allowed from two different cohabiting bubbles.
  • Shopping centres will have to close once again and only stores of less than 400 meters squared, apart from essential ones, will be allowed to open during those 10 days. All stores, apart from essential ones will also have to close at weekends.
  • Physical activity will only be allowed outdoors, which means all gyms are also to close once again.
  • The curfew remains in force from 10pm to 6am.
  • Restaurants, bars and cafes will also remain unchanged with opening hours only allowed for breakfast between 7.30am and 9.30am and for lunch between 1pm and 3.30pm. Dinners are only allowed for takeaway.
  • Leisure and cultural venues will also remain at 50 percent capacity.

Read also: The new Covid-19 restrictions for Three Kings' Day across Spain

“We have to further reduce social interaction because the virus will not let up,” said Vergés. “We must stop the upward trend in figures,” she continued “which forces new social restrictions for 10 days”.

The accumulated incidence rate in Catalonia over the last 14 days has been more than 400 and pressure on hospitals has increased by 27 percent.  

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Doctors, teachers and taxi drivers strike across Catalonia

Wednesday is due to be a difficult day in Catalonia with planned stoppages across three different sectors in health, education, and taxi services.

Doctors, teachers and taxi drivers strike across Catalonia

Medical staff

The union Metges de Catalunya has called for five days of strikes for doctors and medical staff across Catalonia on Wednesday, January 25th and Thursday, January 26th, as well as February 1st, 2nd and 3rd.

They are demanding more resources and personnel for the Catalan public health system and between 25 to 28 patient appointments per work shift of 12 minutes each.

READ ALSO – Key dates: How planned health service strikes in Spain could affect you

After an unsuccessful meeting on Tuesday, January 24th to try and resolve issues and further talks on Wednesday morning that didn’t lead to any resolution, 25,000 health professionals from health centers and hospitals across the region have been called to strike. They have not demonstrated en masse like this in Catalonia since 2018.

Some 500 nurses and midwives also took to the streets on Tuesday, January 24th to ask for better working conditions. Their protest continues this Wednesday, when both nurses and doctors have gathered to march to Sants train station, where they are due to arrive at midday. 

The regional government has agreed to guarantee urgent health care as well as that of the neonatal units and vital chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments.


Teachers and other educational professionals have also been called to strike with two days of planned walkouts on Wednesday, January 25th and Thursday, January 26th.

After a series of unproductive negotiations with the Minister of Education, Josep Gonzàlez-Cambray, the unions Ustec, CCOO and UGT decided to go ahead with the stoppages.  

The unions have said that the simultaneous strikes in education and health make perfect sense as they are “two pillars” of society that should be a priority for the government.

The union Ustec demands that the regional government should invest 6 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) in public education as established by the Education Law of Catalonia. They are also asking to reduce the ratios in the classes and improve the working conditions of educational professionals. 

Schools will remain open during these days, however, and minimum services have been established such as guaranteeing 50 percent of the staff in special education centers and nurseries.

Taxi drivers

Taxi drivers have also joined in the protests and will stage a four-hour strike on Barcelona’s Gran Via this Wednesday, against driver apps such as Free Now, Uber and Bolt.

Negotiations between The Elite Taxi union and the city council broke down last week and the union has called drivers to gather from 10am to 2pm on Gran Via with Plaza Tetuán and on Passeig de Gràcia.

Taxi drivers will also be voting on whether to protest during the Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) and Mobile World Congress fairs. ISE will be held from January 1st to February 3rd and Mobile World Congress from February 27th to March 2nd.