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What is the City Council doing to tackle COVID-19?

17 March 2020

Health. Measures are being taken to contain the spread of coronavirus and protect those most vulnerable.

In coordination with the Government of Catalonia and the Government of Spain, and coinciding with the emergency stage of the specific municipal plan for a health risk, additional measures have been established at a local level to protect vulnerable groups and contain the spread of coronavirus in the city.

Why have these measures been put in place?

The measures have two main goals: to contain the spread of the new coronavirus, limiting cases and most of all protecting those most vulnerable (senior citizens and people with chronic illnesses).

Which municipal facilities will be closed?

  • Community centres
  • Libraries
  • Neighbourhood centres
  • Music schools
  • The Municipal Conservatory
  • Mother and child spaces
  • Children’s centres
  • Play libraries
  • Youth centres
  • Municipal sports centres
  • Fab labs
  • Nursery schools
  • Museums and municipal archives
  • Art centres
  • Zoo Barcelona
  • Tibidabo Amusement Park
  • The 148 public parks and gardens with gates
  • Barcelona Municipal Archives
  • Citizen Help and Information Offices (OAC)
  • Office of findings
  • Business Support Office (OAE)
  • Green Points Network
  • LGTBI Centres

Senior citizens and people with chronic illnesses are considered at risk in the face of COVID-19. What specific measures are being applied to protect them?

  • Closure of 58 elderly people’s centres in the city. Centres offering the service which provides meals in the company of others must facilitate food preparation, with users to pick up picnic meals and take them home.
  • Boost to the municipal telecare service with proactive calls to its 100,000 users.
  • Specific recommendations and advice for self-protection, mainly to avoid build-ups of people in enclosed spaces.

Which events are being suspended and which ones maintained?

  • Events with over a thousand people are to be postponed.
  • Activity by different municipal participation bodies such as public audiences, neighbourhood councils, district councils and facility board sessions to be postponed.
  • Capacity at events for fewer than a thousand people to be limited to a third.

In addition, activities from the ‘Ecofeminism is the answer’ cycle have been postponed until further notice and the participatory sessions planned for proposals for the PAM, the PAD and the participatory budgets will not go ahead until 27 March. The Barcelona young creators’ festival, the Visual Sound, and the Rough Diamonds event have also been postponed.

Any other recommendations for citizens?

People in Barcelona are recommended to limit their social activity where possible.

What measures are being worked on in the economic sphere?

In coordination with the rest of administrations, work is being done with economic stakeholders in the city to study measures to help manage the situation, such as the flexibilization of working hours.

When do the measures apply?

The closure of centres for the elderly applies from Thursday, 12 March. According to directives from the Government of Catalonia, nursery schools, music schools, the Municipal Music Conservatory, the network of museums and municipal archives, art centres, community centres and libraries will close as from Friday 13 March. The rest of municipal facilities will close as from Saturday, 14 March. Initially the measures will be in place for fifteen days from the day they come into force.

Public transport measures in the city

In terms of public transport, measures have been decreed to enable services to be maintained and at the same time guarantee that the recommendations from health authorities are followed.

In order to prevent large build-ups of people, measures are aimed at transport carrying one third of its usual capacity at the most. Buses will be eliminating the sale of tickets where alternatives exist, and information offices and face-to-face support with no systems of separation between staff and users will be closed. In contrast, telephone and online services will be strengthened. People over 65 or in vulnerable situations are advised to avoid using public transport.

When the emergency period is over, the Metropolitan Transport Authority (ATM) will decide how to provide compensation for tickets which could not be used or which expire.

More information here.

How is support for citizens being guaranteed?

Despite the suspension of audiences and council sessions, and the preventative confinement of City Council workers from various areas, activity within the administration continues as normal and all municipal services are completely guaranteed, with the exception services provided by the facilities which are closed.

Questions and answers relating to the health of citizens

The Barcelona Public Health Agency coordinates and manages healthcare services in the city and oversees the policies aimed at maintaining people’s health. Their website offers updated information on COVID-19 and advice and recommendations to follow.