The Catalan government has imposed a night curfew from 10 pm to 6 am after Spain declared the state of emergency on Sunday, granting regional authorities greater executive powers to fight the spread of coronavirus. The measure, coming into force on Sunday, allows the Catalan government to impose more strict restrictions while leapfrogging judicial oversight. Restrictions like the compulsory use of face masks, the limitation of social gatherings to six people, and the closure of bars and restaurants remain in place.
The curfew is in force from Sunday 25 October. So far the exceptional measure will end on November 9. While the Spanish government wants the state of alarm to last until May 2021, regional authorities will be able to decide whether to extend the night curfew on November 9 depending on epidemiological indicators.
Stores and establishments open to the public should close its doors by 9 pm. The same measure applies to authorized public shows and sports events. While freedom of movement will be greatly restricted, the decree imposing a night curfew considers a number of exceptions, mainly for people on their way home, who work at night, in case of a health emergency (this includes going to a pharmacy) and when taking care of dependent relatives (with a professional certificate).
Essential services, such as health centers, care homes, fuel, emergency services and judicial actions are also permitted from 10 pm to 6 pm. The care of pets is also in the list of exceptions, with walks permitted “the essential time” from 4 am to 6 am near home. Urgent judicial actions or returning home from a trip are also part of the exceptions.
Fines from 300 to 6,000 euros
Failing to comply with the night curfew could result in fines ranging from 300 to 6,000 euros, according to the Catalan interior minister Miquel Sàmper. People repeatedly breaching curfew restrictions or disobeying law enforcement will receive higher fines. While officers are expected to inform citizens of the measure on Sunday night, fines will quickly come into force as the interior minister pledges a higher police presence in the streets.
While in-person cultural activities were banned when the first state of alarm came into force in March, Catalonia says theaters, cinemas, and concert venues can remain open until 10 pm, with attendees authorized to return home by 11 pm. Meanwhile, bars and restaurants will remain shut, but food delivery will be allowed until 10 pm, and take away services until 9 pm.
The certificate of self-responsibility used in the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic will be needed to justify any exceptions. An employer’s certificate or tickets of the show attended will also be accepted.