Catalans told not to dance with strangers after Spain eases coronavirus rules

A file photo of tourists dance in a disco in Sant Antoni de Portmany on Spain’s Ibiza Island. (AFP)

Barcelona nightclub owners on Tuesday condemned a regional decision to maintain a ban on dancing, unless you are at a hotel or restaurant and know your partner well.

“We want to dance” the nightclub owners said in a statement in response to a U-turn by the Catalan regional government on the issue.

It had lifted the dance ban in discos and nightclubs last week as Spain eased one of Europe’s most strict set of coronavirus lockdown measures.

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But on Monday, officials back peddled on the decision, saying night clubs would have to keep people off the dance floor, if necessary by putting tables and chairs there.

Dance floors in hotels and restaurants were allowed to stay open, but only if they were used by “groups of people often together and in close contact.”

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Social media had a field day with the decision, but disco owners who have been hoping to open again were not amused.

“They stop us from dancing even though that is what we all like the most,” Ramon Mas, head of the Barcelona discotheque federation told a regional parliament hearing.

“A night club without dancing is like an opera without music or a restaurant without food,” Mas explained, before concluding that “we will not reopen if we cannot let people dance.”

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A woman wearing a face mask walks in Lloret de Mar on June 22, 2020 as beaches reopen in Spain. (AFP)

A woman wearing a face mask walks in Lloret de Mar on June 22, 2020 as beaches reopen in Spain. (AFP)

The head of another organization, Spain Night Life, told AFP the rule would just favor illegal clubs.

“Knowing the level of relations between one person and another impacts their privacy and an entrepreneur cannot be a part of that,” Joaquim Boadas added.

He argued for having people dance with masks.

Spaniards were set to celebrate after a confinement decreed in mid March was finally lifted last weekend.

Spain has suffered more than 28,300 deaths from COVID-19, one of the highest tolls in Europe.

People are still supposed to maintain a distance of 1.5 meters (yards) from each other, or wear a mask when that is not possible.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 24 June 2020 KSA 23:02 - GMT 20:02
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