The Government has decided this afternoon to apply new measures to curb the growth of the pandemic that is advancing unchecked to Catalonia, driven by the omicron variant. The Government spokesperson, Patrícia Plaja, has stated that "beyond increasing the third doses, new restrictions are imposed. It is necessary, urgent and essential to reduce mobility and interaction between people who are not bubble group".
With this objective, the Catalan Executive proposes to limit the meetings to a maximum of 10 people, to implement again the curfew (from 1 p.m. to 6 a.m.), to close the night leisure and to reduce the capacities to 50% inside the restaurants, and to 70% in the case of commerce, gymnasiums and culture.
The Government will present the resolution with this package of measures to the High Court of Justice to validate them and, therefore, they can enter into force from the night of next Thursday to Friday. The Catalan Executive foresees that the resolution will be valid for 15 days, and will be reviewed once this period of time has expired.
Plaja, after recognizing that The Government is aware of the impact that always generate the limitations, said that "experts make it clear, if measures are not taken urgently, the impact of the pandemic will be much worse than all the economic, social or emotional impacts that these measures can cause".
Plaja explained that the Government recommends teleworking "and this will be done in the field of public service but whenever possible it should also be done in the private sector". Still in the economic field, the spokesperson has also announced that The Government is already working on organizing lines of support for all affected sectors. Plaja said that "more than ever it is essential that the resources of the Covid Fund arrive".
For his part, the Minister of Health, Josep Maria Argimon, explained that these measures aim to reduce interaction and mobility, "because this is the way in which the virus is transmitted". He has assured that they are "necessary measures" after noting that in the last week the number of infections in Catalonia has doubled. "We have grown by 100% this week", warned the Minister, with the forecast, he added, that in the coming hours may exceed the daily record of infections of the entire pandemic (which until now had been reached last July, with 10,000 daily infections).
Argimon has linked this growth in infections to the presence of the omicron variant. "It is more contagious and more resistant to vaccines. It remains to be seen whether it is more serious or less serious: everything points to it being milder. But if it is very easily transmitted, it is very easy to saturate our health services: and we must preserve that", the Minister emphasized. As he added, the healthcare system must be able to continue to attend to covid-19 but also to all the other pathologies.
The Minister insisted on the need to prioritize the additional dose of the covid-19 vaccine to reinforce immunity. "If we give this booster dose, it greatly increases protection against severe disease". He reminded that there are many appointments available to be able to order.