Although the recommendation for people in Catalonia is to restrict social interaction as much as possible, the government has not toughened Covid measures for New Year’s Eve. Thus the curfew for that night is maintained at one in the morning. The confirmation of the existing timetable came today at midday, after an earlier warning from the Catalan interior minister Miquel Sàmper that the provisions could be reviewed.
He had made the statements this weekend on radio station RAC1, and the minister himself clarified them today at a press conference: "As I mentioned at the weekend, today was a day of review for the Procicat civil protection committee and all measures were up for consideration. The resolution was reached that there will be no changes. The decision was taken purely on the basis of the data".
Better to get together on the terrace
In any case, the Civil Protection department reiterates the message already given when the measures were announced for these special dates. Sàmper says the data is behind the decision not to harden restrictions, but the Procicat group does not deny its concern about the trends in the Covid indicators and the pressure on healthcare facilities. In addition, they see another threat linked to the conclusion that some people could be jumping to, at present, due to the start of the vaccinations, "which may lead people to think that we now have the solution at hand."
That is why the committee recalls that it is essential that trips to visit others are only prioritised when motivated by a need to care for vulnerable people. Outside this, the recommendation is not to make any trips that are not essential. Another suggestion from Civil Protection is that, if you do meet up with others at their homes, balconies and terraces “should be a safe option”. If not, in a fully open interior space, or in the largest room, and without forgetting to form groups based on coexistence bubbles, with use of masks generalised, and without lengthening meals.
The Catalan interior ministry has also noted that the measures imposed are being followed. One of the examples given by minister Sàmper is the reduction in mobility compared to the data from a year ago: on 24th December, twenty per cent less traffic; on Christmas Day, 44 per cent less and for Sant Esteve on the 26th, a 45% traffic reduction in Catalonia. He mentioned the lack of traffic that is very evident in the Cadí tunnel - the gateway to the Cerdanya, which along with Ripollés, is subject to perimeter closure and especially tough restrictions, after Covid indicators rose alarmingly before Christmas.
The current Catalonia data
The number of new confirmed cases for coronavirus in Catalonia has decreased with respect to Sunday's data; in the last 24 hours the Catalan health department has reported 973 new infections, 387,272 since the start of the pandemic. On Sunday, 1,048 new cases were registered, 1,508 on Saturday and 2,958 on Friday. However, this decrease in cases could be due to the public holidays, meaning that fewer people have been tested.