After a 200-person rave was broken up in Rubio, a rural municipality outside Barcelona, bars and nightclubs in the Catalonia region will be forced to close for 15 days. Lawmakers announced the guidance amid a resurgence of COVID-19 cases that saw 1,280 new cases confirmed in the area on Tuesday alone.
The restrictions approved on Wednesday also prevent universities from conducting physical courses in addition to postponing all sporting events. According to The Olive Press, Catalonia hospitals currently have just shy of 1,000 COVID-19 patients admitted – 172 of which are in intensive care. At 263 cases per 100,000 people in the past 14 days, Spain has one of the highest incident rates of any European country.
The guidance is the latest development in on ongoing dilemma which has forced Spanish lawmakers to reverse course time and again. After cautiously resuming nightlife over the summer, Italy and Spain both ordered the closure of bars and clubs in August over concerns of a coronavirus resurgence. The restrictions were eventually lifted, only to be reimposed.
Other western European countries have recently struggled to contain COVID-19 as well. Last week, French authorities banned all bars and festive gatherings in Paris while the Berlin senate imposed a 9:00 PM curfew for all nightlife establishments.
Interim regional leader Pere Aragones has said that the 15-day restrictions in Catalonia will go into effect on Friday, October 16th.
Image credit: Alexander Popov