Government of Catalonia Imposes New Restrictions after Spain’s Declaration of a State of Emergency

Catalonia has announced a series of new restrictions after the Spanish government declared the state of emergency on Sunday.

A guide to Catalonia’s night restrictions

The Catalan government has imposed a night curfew from 10 pm to 6 am after Spain declared the state of emergency on Sunday, granting regional authorities greater executive powers to fight the spread of coronavirus. New measure’s in force from Sunday night include exceptions such as force majeure, work, health emergencies, and care.

The measure, coming into force on Sunday, allows the Catalan government to impose more strict restrictions while leapfrogging judicial oversight. Restrictions like the compulsory use of face masks, the limitation of social gatherings to six people, and the closure of bars and restaurants will remain in place.

While the Spanish government wants the state of alarm to last until May 2021, regional authorities will still be able to decide whether to extend the night curfew on November 9 depending on epidemiological indicators. The minimal time limit is 15 days.

Businesses closed by 9 pm

Retails shops and stores will have to close their doors by 9 pm. Bars and restaurants will remain shut, with food delivery and takeaway services allowed up until 9 pm.

Exceptions: force majeure, emergencies, care of relatives

While freedom of movement will be greatly restricted, the decree imposing a night curfew considers a number of exceptions, mainly for people on their way home, who work at night, in case of a health emergency, or when taking care of their dependent relatives.

Fines for non-compliance

Failing to comply with the night curfew could result in fines ranging from 300 to 6,000 euros, according to the Catalan interior minister Miquel Sàmper. People repeatedly breaching curfew restrictions or disobeying law enforcement will receive higher fines.

Police officers are expected to inform citizens of the measure on Sunday night, fines will quickly come into force as the interior minister has pledged there will be a higher police presence in the streets.

Theatres, cinemas, concert venues

While in-person cultural activities were banned when the first state of alarm came into force in March, Catalonia says theatres, cinemas, and concert venues can remain open until 10 pm, with attendees authorized to return home by 11 pm.

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Written by

Tony Winterburn

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