The opening of the hospitality and culture sector will have to wait at least 10 more days. Procicat has approved extending the closure order until Monday 23rd November, as it has noted that, despite the fact that the transmission of new infections has slowed in recent weeks, the pressure on hospitals is still too high to resume activity. In addition, beauty and massage parlours will be able to open from tomorrow. Another novelty is that attendance at places of worship is limited to 100 people, or 30% of their usual capacity, whichever is smallest.
Thus, on the 23rd, when the term of the current restrictions expires, the authorities will review the epidemiological data and the occupations in the ICUs; if they have decreased and are on the right track, the reopening of bars and restaurants will be allowed, as well as gyms, cinemas and theatres. These sectors have long been demanding authorisation to reopen on the grounds that they have made all the improvements to guarantee safety against the coronavirus. The Minister of Health, Alba Vergés, said this Thursday in a press conference that it is downhill from here but insisted that an "effort" is needed to overcome the second wave.
Vergés has announced that as of 23 November, and provided that the indicators are positive, a plan for "progressive de-escalation" will be initiated which, among other things, must allow for the return of outdoor activities, such as the reopening of bar and restaurant terraces. The Councillor indicated that the measures will be taken with "all sectors" affected.
The new extension has not calmed the sector, which continues to demand the immediate reopening of establishments. The Gremi de Restauració de Barcelona has warned that "the economy is collapsing and, therefore, this is not a satisfactory management of the pandemic and the ensuing economic crisis". As an example, the Gremi mentioned the Madrid Region, which "shows that it is possible to contain the rise in cases without stopping business activity". Gremi representatives met this morning with Vergés and Argimon, who informed them of the renewal of the restrictions. Gremi also recalled that on 14 October the government announced a measure which would be "very drastic but concentrated in time" - the closure of the premises - and asked the sector to make "a 15-day effort". The hospitality sector regrets that with the new extension it will be 40 days in total.