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Despite the fact that on Monday the Catalan health ministry declared its intention to extend the current Covid-19 restrictions in Catalonia for two weeks, the Government has not yet ruled out the possibility that measures will finally be made more flexible. "At the moment I can't confirm that the issue is decided," said the government spokesperson Meritxell Budó when asked about the possibility of relaxing restrictions in sectors such as that of bars and restaurants.

During the press conference following the Catalan cabinet's regular Tuesday meeting, Budó stressed that the government is committed to "not prolonging this situation for one day more than necessary" - a situation which has closed down economic sectors such as hospitality and beauty salons since October 15th. However, she also repeated once again that the easing of restrictions will be slow and "it will not be just an overnight return to all activity."

Between Wednesday and Friday

The forecast is that between Wednesday and Friday, when the decision is to be made, the suitability of extending the current measures will be addressed at the Procicat civil protection committee.

Public health secretary Marc Ramentol said on Monday in statements to the radio station RAC1 that the measures have had a positive impact and that they cannot be dispensed with, so the health authorities thus proposed to extend them for another two weeks. But minister Budó has now changed the nuance slightly: while  insisting that the government always takes decisions based on health authority recommendations, she has now added that "if there is any possibility of starting to make any measure more flexible, it will be studied and decided".

She refused to enter into comparisons on the results obtained by the Community of Madrid, which has not adopted such strong restrictions as Catalonia and has managed to reduce the incidence of Covid-19 cases. However, she emphasised that the executive is aware of the sacrifices involved for many sectors.

The bars and restaurants sector has issued numerous warning signs about the devastating effect these measures are having on many businesses. Last Friday the industry conveyed its concern to representatives of the Catalan administration in a meeting mediated by Chamber of Commerce head, Joan Canadell.