Christmas: Curfew and 10-person limit on meetings to stay in place

Government yet to decide whether to allow travel between counties

The Government is beginning to outline the conditions that the pandemic will impose on the Christmas holidays, when there is little more than a month to go. Although the coronavirus will not allow for large celebrations or big meals with extended family and friends, the health department is working on a plan based on four de-escalation stretches. Christmas would coincide with the third leg, in which there would still be restrictions on social interaction and mobility, although somewhat more flexible than the current ones.

Health Department to propose that bars, culture and sports can reopen on Monday

Meetings of 10 people

The equivalent of two coexistence bubbles or an enlarged one

If Procicat endorses the proposal to relax the limitations and the epidemiological indicators are favourable, the Christmas holidays could be celebrated with a maximum of 10 people. In other words, meetings of up to two coexistence bubbles or, at most, one extended bubble would be allowed.

Health Minister Alba Vergés had already admitted that it would be a "complicated Christmas" due to the impossibility of meeting with the whole family. She had already advanced, however, that there might be room to extend the maximum limit to meetings (currently six people) and that masks - dispensable when you are with people in the same bubble - would play a key role. Specifically, she said they were recommended throughout the meeting, except when eating or drinking.

Curfew

In place from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., except for justified reasons

The curfew is here to stay, the Minister of the Home Affairs warned a few days ago. The intention of the Government is to extend this measure, and Christmas will not be the exception. If the Health Department's plan is approved, Christmas Eve will have to be celebrated exclusively with the coexistence bubble or have an early dinner and arrive home before 10 pm.

Mobility

Restrictions yet to be decided

Christmas Day is on a Friday, the day on which mobility restrictions that ban people travelling between municipalities comes into force. It is not yet clear whether this restriction will remain the in place during the third phase of the de-escalation plan, which will include the Christmas holidays. The Government has to decide whether to lift it completely or whether to allow mobility within the region or between areas with a low incidence of contagion. Sources familiar with the preliminary proposal that has been made public insist that changes may still be made until Thursday.

Trade

Shopping centres will be able to reopen at 30% of capacity

Coinciding with the Christmas season, shopping centres may already be open with a 30% capacity, except for the common areas. The establishments over 800 m2 will have capacity rediced by 50%, as before.

Religious events

30% capacity and 100 people in the large temples during Christmas masses

The Health Department plans to maintain the current restrictions on religious events, such as traditional Christmas masses, such as the Midnight Mass, which will have to be celebrated with 30% of the capacity. Cathedrals and large temples, which bring together hundreds of people each year, will only be able to offer the mass live to a maximum of 100 faithful this year.

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