he street bottles and uncontrolled private parties, without a mask or social distance, produced in recent weeks in Barcelona due to the end of the state of alarm and the curfew have reopened the debate on nightlife, whose venues are still closed.
It is the only sector that, 14 months after the outbreak of the covid-19 pandemic, remains in dry dock. The Catalan Federation of Locals d’Oci Nocturn (Fecalon) sent a letter to the Ministry of Health on Monday calling for the immediate opening of nightclubs and bars to ensure fun under control. “Barcelona has become the largest ‘water park’ in Europe”, denounced.
In this situation, all eyes are on the pilot test that was held tonight from 11:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. in Sitges (Garraf), in five nightlife venues on calle del Primer de Maig (better known as calle del Pecat), the epicenter of nightlife in the town.
In the style of initiatives such as the Love of Lesbian concert, on March 27 at the Palau Sant Jordi, this rehearsal, in which 400 people have participated and organized by the Sitges City Council and the Ministry of Health, has been based on condition access to participants who have passed an antigen test on the same day , offer them a nightly evening with music and toasts but, yes, withgroups of maximum six people and with a surgical mask.
Salut has made antigens to the 400 participants, who have worn a mask and have circulated freely through the pubs without crowds
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Five days later, the participants will be summoned for a new test in Sitges and, until that moment, they must commit to maintaining security measures. The Ministry of Health will monitor for 14 days, comparing it with a control group with similar characteristics.
The bars in which the pilot test has been held are Rich Monkey, Pachito, Everlasting, Las Vegas and Blitz, located on Calle del Pecat, between Paseo de la Ribera and Plaza de la Indústria.
The entire area has been perimeter, with freedom of movement and capacity and drinks have been allowed at any point, in “almost real” conditions, although knowing that there would be no crowds. There have been dispensers of hydroalcoholic gel and the private security personnel of the music bars have ensured that the participants always wear the mask while not consuming.
“All, absolutely all our hopes are placed on this test,” Damià Orts, owner of Pachito and Everlasting, and representative of nightlife in the town , explains to this newspaper . “80% of leisure time in Catalonia is us, the music bars,” says Orts, who believes that the test will go “well”.
He also asks the Administration to be “brave” and take “a step forward” with these businesses. “The losses we have had make it impossible for us to eat. All of us are at odds with our landlords.” The businessman claims to open “at the beginning of June ” because “the season is ending.”
This clinical trial should serve to develop the subsequent plan for returning to nighttime activity. For the leisure employers, the priority after these and other ongoing tests is to accelerate the reopening to resuscitate the economic sector and at the same time stop the bottles, which threaten to expand and become chronic in Barcelona. Only last Saturday the Guardia Urbana and the Mossos d’Esquadra evicted 9,000 people in Barcelona.
The employers ask to open nightlife as soon as possible to alleviate the increase in uncontrolled street bottles
The Government includes the United Kingdom and Japan in the list of countries without restrictions to travel to Spain.
But not only the employers are calling for the reopening of nightlife, but also political voices such as that of the First Deputy Mayor for Economic Promotion at Barcelona City Council, Jaume Collboni.
The mayor defends the reopening of these establishments to stop the “pressure on public space”, which leaves the problem in the hands of the municipalities.
“We hope that leisure will open as soon as possible to avoid this pressure,” he insisted last Monday, recalling that police pressure in the streets has already increased by 30% to combat these excesses.
The Councilor for Public Health of the Sitges City Council, Elisabeth Pérez, explains that the objective of this clinical trial is “to offer data for decision-making”. “Nightlife is a deeply rooted sector in the municipality with working families.” Sitges also lives the phenomenon of the bottles, says Pérez, a “burden” for any municipality.