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Man walking with mask and gloves in Barcelona
Photograph: Marc Lozano

New restrictions in Barcelona: what this means

The aim is to reduce social gatherings, the main focus of a new wave of infections in Barcelona and the metropolitan area


On Friday, July 17, the Catalan government (Generalitat) announced updated security measures and restrictions to be applied in Barcelona and throughout the metropolitan area in order to stop the latest wave of infections. The main objective is to limit social encounters, since it has been determined that these are the situations where most of the infections arise.

The latest measures are set to be in effect for 15 days once the courts accept the proposal, which could be as soon as July 18. They are as follows:

- The Generalitat asks people to avoid trips to any second residences and to stay at home whenever possible, going out only for essential reasons, such as to work, to the doctor, to buy food or other necessities, or to take care of dependents.

- Social activity is to be reduced, so gatherings of more than ten people are prohibited, both in private and public areas.

- Exercise or sport is allowed on an individual basis or with one other person who lives in the same home. Group sports should be avoided, as should going to the beach, unless you go alone.

- Most leisure and cultural activities are suspended. Theatres, cinemas, nightlife venues and gyms are closed, and recreational and sports activities are cancelled. Libraries and museums will remain open and are intended to be safe spaces.

- Bars and restaurants are to allow a maximum of 50 percent of their capacity inside the premises. No service at the bar area itself is allowed, and more separation is required between customers and tables where there is outdoor seating on terraces. It is recommended that you avoid dining at a bar or restaurant, and instead order takeaway.

- Businesses that do not sell basic necessities will have to return to taking customers by advance appointment only.

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