• Minister of Home Affairs Miquel Sàmper called for compliance of sanitary measures and recalled that "ventilation is key" and terraces need to have a minimum of two open sides in order to open
Minister of Health Alba Vergés Announces that Catalonia is Already Working on a Vaccination Strategy against COVID-19 and Has Bought 10 million Syringes
The Minister of Health, Alba Vergés, stressed that the Catalan Government is already working on the vaccination strategy against COVID-19 in Catalonia and has bought 10 million syringes to start the vaccination as soon as possible. "We have been preparing for the vaccine for weeks". "We have a group of people working on the vaccination strategy of COVID-19 in Catalonia, in coordination with the Ministry of Health".

The Minister of Health explained that the State points out that the vaccination could begin towards the end of January and that “Catalonia's strategy is to reach the entire population, but first priority groups”.  

At the telematic press conference, Alba Vergés announced that the Ministry of Health has begun to carry out mass screenings in municipalities in the metropolitan area of Barcelona, such as Badalona, Mataró, Santa Coloma de Gramenet, Sabadell, La Llagosta and Mollet. Other screenings are starting in municipalities in the regions of Lleida and Girona. Vergés emphasized these screenings are part of the de-escalation strategy "to go out and to look for the virus". He has also highlighted the incorporation of 500 coronavirus tracking professionals. 

The Minister emphasized that now is "the time of responsibility and solidarity towards the affected sectors" and insisted that the guard cannot be dropped: "Strict measures are needed to avoid endangering our group of coexistence”.

The coordinator of COVID-19 monitoring unit in Catalonia has expressed the same ideas. Jacobo Mendioroz stressed that "we must be aware that the virus is still here, that it can be spread again in ten or fifteen days and that if it does, we will have an extremely complex situation in the coming days and during Christmas" .

In this sense, he called for the collaboration of all citizens to confront the pandemic: "Together we need to make sure the spaces we have open are safe: either bars, terraces, theatres or cinemas". "There is a significant risk and it requires everyone's involvement" and he has reminded that "a test is not protective, its negative result does not mean that the person is not infected, although it is another weapon to combat the virus but it does not exempt from applying all the measures of protection”.

Jacobo Mendioroz also pointed out that today's epidemiological situation is "good". "For the first time since we launched the restrictive measures seven weeks ago, we have less than 2,000 cases a day, specifically 1,797". Most territories have a transmission rate below 1, some even 0.7. "We are seeing a steady decline in cases, but we still have many people in hospitals". Currently, there are 2,100 patients admitted to hospitals and approximately 520 people in the ICUs. 

Finally, the coordinator of COVID-19 monitoring unit in Catalonia emphasized that we cannot drop our guards, because “we know that in winter the virus is more aggressive. It is very important that we do everything we can outdoors and that we avoid social interaction as much as possible”.

The Minister of the Home Affairs, Miquel Sàmper, called for compliance with health measures and reminded “ventilation is key" also in terraces. The requirement conditions for their opening are that they have at least 2 open sides of ventilation and if these requirements are not fulfilled, they will have to follow the same restrictions than indoors”, and smoking will need to be banned.

The Minister of Home Affairs reviewed the most important data of the weekend and mentioned that 797 reports for non-compliance with restrictive measures were made from Friday to Sunday, and 4 premises were closed. 

The minister stressed that during the weekend 3 parties were also detected in which the health measures were not complied with. “On Friday night, Barcelona local police had to intervene to stop an unauthorized party on the mountain of Montjuïc with 80 people drinking alcohol not complying with health measures. 80 complaints were made, and evacuation was proceeded. On Saturday night, the police had to intervene in L'Hospitalet de Llobregat because a party was taking place in a place with 18 people. The premises were closed, and 18 reports were made. On Sunday night, there was an intervention in a flat on Passeig de Gràcia with 20 participants who were evacuated and 20 reports were made”.

The Minister of Home Affairs explained that the data accumulated from October 16 to date indicate a total of 40,246 reports, 18,797 by the Catalan Police and 21,449 by the local police. There were also 644 complaints to establishments, 212 made by the Catalan Police and 432 by the Local Police. In terms of identification of people, the total is 81,693, 16,953 carried out by the Catalan Police and 64,740 by the Local Police.

In terms of mobility, Sàmper explained that during the weekend there was very low mobility with general data like those of previous weeks and greater mobility on Thursday, “although this Thursday this mobility was significantly lower than the previous ones”. "Apparently, the dynamics of advancing the weekend on Thursdays to go to second homes has dropped considerably," he added. 

There was a 39% decrease in mobility on Friday 20 in the metropolitan area and a 34% decrease in large roads. There was a 79% decrease in mobility on Saturday 21 in the metropolitan area and a 71% decrease in large roads. There was an 84% decrease in mobility on Sunday 22 in the metropolitan area and a 77% decrease in large roads.

The manager of Mossos d'Esquadra Police, Mònica Luís, emphasized that “in terms of crimes in general, the average for November is 1,783 and now we are at 1,279, which means a 28% decrease”.

The manager asked for "caution especially when shopping online on the Internet at a time when pre-Christmas promotions begin". Luis has warned about the overly attractive offers or emails informing about promotions and asking you to click to a link. He reminded “the importance of making sure the web address includes the https or have a small padlock, that we should use secure passwords and avoid shopping online while using open or public Wi-Fi signals”.