Spain: Catalonia closes bars and restaurants amid coronavirus surge

The Government of Catalonia has ordered the closure of bars and restaurants throughout the region for 15 days, in an attempt to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Footage filmed on Friday in Barcelona shows the first day of the implementation of the shutdown, which only allows for take-away orders. Shops have also been restricted to 30 percent of their capacity. Gambling halls, bingo halls and casinos are closed, congresses and conventions are suspended, cinemas and theatres are reduced to 50 percent of their capacity, and services that imply physical contact are prohibited, except for doctor visits and hairdressers. The new restrictions have been received with concerns by the restaurant sector, which has already announced that will appeal the decision of the Catalan Government to the Superior Court of Justice of Catalonia (TSJC). «What the closure with a measure like this means is disastrous, it is very negative. We were getting into a correct work rhythm, with all the security measures that had been imposed on us. And this closure is disastrous,» explained Marcel Portabellas, manager of a restaurant in Las Ramblas. Catalonia has registered 2,171 new infections in the last 24 hours, according to the Ministry of Health. Since the pandemic began in Spain, 921,374 were people infected and 33,553 lost their lives with complications due to the virus.
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