The business federation for the Catalan nightlife sector, FECASARM, has said this Monday that in the first weekend since the sector's reopening, the Covid measures imposed by the Catalan government have proven impossible to comply with, and the federation has demanded permission to use a system of admission via QR codes as proof of having had a Covid-19 test, as the "only way" to prevent the closure of the sector.
The sector group has stressed that the measures - such as the requirement to wear a mask when on the dancefloor and to maintain a distance of 1.5 metres from others when drinking - are "very difficult to comply with" and they recognize that control of these aspects is "impossible."
For this reason, and given the fear of having to close again after 15 months with the rollers down, FECASARM has asserted the need to implement a new admission protocol based on presenting a negative Covid test result linked to a QR code.
Five measures could be removed
In this way, they said, as many as five of the current measures imposed at present could be dispensed with, as well as providing more safety and shielding nightlife venues from outbreaks, since "it would be shown that they comes from the area of illegal nightlife activities".
FECASARM secretary general, Joaquim Boadas, has claimed that, in order to avoid a future closure, the sector must set itself clearly apart from illegal nightlife, "controlling the right to admission to our premises" via the new proposed proof of test. This measure, he explained, would eliminate the need for capacity restrictions, interpersonal distances, the obligation to have tables and chairs, prior registration and time restrictions.
The only solution
In this regard, Boada told TV3 that "the nightlife sector is not responsible for the increase in infections among young people". He said that the infections have been increasing in recent weeks and come from botellons - booze parties in the street - and gatherings that took place before the reopening of the sector.
He also said that "If they implement the pre-test, we will prompt a lot of people between the ages of 16 and 30, who would never take a test, to do so, to access their favourite nightclub." He believes this is the only solution to improve the Covid indicators.
Nightclubs reopened in Catalonia on Monday 21st June, but last Friday and Saturday were the first weekend days with nightclubs open, and images were shared of young people who were not complying with the measures laid down by the Catalan government in a context where epidemiological rates are once again rising.