Temporary extensions to bar and restaurant terraces and space for neighbourhood commerce

The new regulation on terraces and commerce is designed to stimulate neighbourhood economies. The new measures allow for broader use of public space by restaurants and neighbourhood commerce, on an exceptional and temporary basis, prioritising the use of parking spaces and traffic lanes. Applications can be processed from the first day of stage one of the lockdown exit.

20/05/2020 19:02 h

Ajuntament de Barcelona

Stage 1 of the lockdown exit limits the use of terraces to 50% of their capacity. By broadening the use of public space, an estimated 93% of the 5,500 establishments which currently have terraces will be able to extend or maintain their commercial activity outdoors. In addition, as a result of the situation caused by Covid-19, the tax on terraces will be lowered by 75% until 31 December 2020.

The new decree has been developed with the collaboration of the economic stakeholders involved, local people and municipal groups to take into account as many perspectives as possible.

Commerce in the streets

In an effort to boost commerce at a local level there will now be more support for events to be organised in shopping hubs and streets. The temporary occupation of public space will have to respect the measures on safety, prevention and hygiene, with requests to be channelled through retailers’ association or non-profit commercial organisations. Specific measures will also be put in place to stimulate activity at municipal markets through the temporary use of adjacent public space.

The City Council will be distributing 40,000 face masks to workers in the commerce sector to help them comply with safety and prevention measures.

New terraces and extensions

The regulation includes the addition of space for establishments which already have terraces, as well as the issue of temporary permits, in accordance with the conditions for the use of public space and the criteria set out by the new decree.

  • Applications for extensions and new permits can be made via the municipal procedures website.
  • A specific website has also been be set up to handle queries and provide information, along with a helpline operated by Barcelona Activa: 900 533 175.

When will terraces be able to be extended?

Permits and extensions are being managed now the city is on stage 1 of the lockdown exit process and will be implemented progressively over the coming days.

Where will new terraces and extended terraces go?

Priority will be given to road surfaces alongside pavements, such as traffic lanes or end-to-end parking spaces.

What requisites have to be met?

Some of the conditions are:

  • Respect accessibility criteria in the by-law on terraces.
  • Not to block bike lanes, the path of public transport, access to parking and facilities, the path of service vehicles and the use and visibility of traffic signs.
  • Where traffic lanes are occupied, establishments must use the same lane and put forward a unitary proposal to use a whole street section.
  • Terrace space may only be extended where it does not occupy more than 50% of the space available for people to circulate and provided the suitability of open spaces.
  • A space at least two metres wide should be left clear for pedestrians in streets with curbless paving.
  • The only furniture permitted will be tables, four chairs per table, parasols and plant tubs when the road surface is occupied.
  • New terraces or extensions must not interfere with the needs that other establishments or commercial activities may have as a result of having to comply with health safety measures.

What’s the maximum capacity for establishments extending their terraces?

  • Terraces can set up 50% of their tables in the usual space.
  • In the additional space they can put up to four tables, six if occupying road surfaces.
  • The criteria on positioning, the two-metre safety distance and current regulations should be respected in all cases.

What’s the maximum capacity for establishments with new terraces?

  • Up to four tables may be set up, six if occupying road surfaces.
  • The criteria on positioning, the two-metre safety distance and current regulations should be respected.

What opening times will apply?

Sunday to Thursday, from 8 am to midnight, Friday and evenings before non-working days and public holidays, from 8 am to 1 am.


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