It is a word that we thought banned from public speeches in Barcelona. Tuesday evening however, Pere Aragones lifted a taboo by evoking “a return to normality”. Nineteen months after the start of the health crisis, the Catalan president announced the end of almost all Covid restrictions in the region. “We are taking a very important step to get out of the exception and the anomaly of the coronavirus.”
As of tomorrow, theaters, sports arenas and restaurants will be able to accommodate as many audiences they want it. It will not be necessary to show a vaccine certificate or a negative test (with the exception of discotheques which reopened 10 days) since the health pass no ‘has never been required in a country which has always been very favorable to the vaccine (78% of Spaniards are vaccinated against 73 % in France). However, the mask will remain compulsory indoors and at school from the age of 6.
“After two very difficult years, this is excellent news” rejoices Jordi, owner of the Mar Bella, a tapas restaurant on Rambla Poblenou. “We will be able to make tables with more than 000 people: we will find the company dinners that we have missed so much in recent months and then if the customers come back all of them, I will be able to get two of my employees out of short-time work. ”
In the street, we still see a lot of masked people. It is not mandatory outside but for Joan and Teresa, a retired couple, the Covid has not disappeared. “We never go out without our mask even if we are vaccinated”. In Catalonia, the incidence rate has never been so low since June 2020 with 10 cases for 100 000 residents. The situation in hospitals has greatly improved with 97 Covid patients in intensive care, around ten less than in Occitanie.
L horizon brightens for cultivation
The horizon also clears for cultivation. If the rooms have remained open in recent months, capacities have been reduced. “Playing in front of a full room changes everything,” explains Roger Coma, actor and lead role in Escape Room, a play at the Borras theater in Barcelona. Starting tomorrow, the room occupancy rate will drop from 70 to 100%. “Our theater has suffered a lot, so it’s good for the finances. And then it’s much better for me. When you play a comedy, the reactions of the public are different when the room is full, even if the mask remains a barrier. ”
Relief is also in order in the FC Barcelona offices. In great financial difficulties, the former club of Leo Messi lost a lot of money without the Camp Nou public and its close to 100 000 places. “This is very great news: it will allow us to bring in money in the cash registers, the shops and the museum will reopen. It is a whole economic activity around Barça which will resume ”welcomes Edu Polo, journalist for Mundo Deportivo. But despite the end of the restrictions, the stadium will not be filled on Sunday evening for the Valencia reception. “Many members have given up their subscription this season. We currently have 57 000 subscribers: we must therefore fill almost half of the stadium or the tourists are not fully back. Places are very expensive. It’ll be hard. »
The return to normal will take a little time. But thanks to the vaccine, Catalonia is convinced that it will no longer experience waves as strong as those it has had to endure since March 2020.