The Urban Guard has sealed this Saturday the Paseo del Born , scene during the weekends of bottles that defy the restrictions caused by the covid. Municipal sources have reported that the central promenade has been strictly sealed “temporarily” to “avoid the concentrations of people that had occurred lately.” After sealing the walk with plastic tape, a device of the Urban Guard has been kept in place to avoid the ‘bottle’ scenes of recent weeks.
However, the groups that had planned to spend the afternoon in this space have been distributed through the nearby streets, in small groups, or on the Lluís Companys promenade, in larger concentrations.
The Guàrdia Urbana has cleared this walk, but in a short time it has returned to be occupied by groups of people who were chatting, listening to music with loudspeakers or consuming alcoholic beverages.
For several weekends, Paseo del Born has become, in the words of a Guardia Urbana agent, “an open-air disco” where dozens of young people, bypassing the restrictions due to the covid, drink alcohol outdoors while they chat and dance. In some cases, with groups that exceed the allowed number (6 outdoors).
In other cases, in addition, without a mask. After several weeks of ‘bottles’, the Urban Guard and the Mossos evicted hundreds of people from the Born last Saturday , after which they dispersed through the adjacent streets, which were filled with empty glasses and bottles during the night. On this occasion, they have opted instead for a preventive measure.
The measure has completely taken by surprise to the catering industry who say they feel “helpless”before the change of criteria of the authorities. The owner of the Marlowe cocktail bar, Marc Pinotti, has regretted that the measure was taken without informing them and has warned that the agents have commented to many citizens that it was not possible to order take-away drinks.
“As far as we know, that is not prohibited,” added Pinotti. “I understand that the situation is difficult to manage but to close the Paseo del Born is to move the problem to another point,” he pointed out. The owner of the No Sé bar, Marco Bonaldo, has also criticized that take away sales have been prevented – “it is not written anywhere” – and has questioned the effectiveness of the measure.
“This is not the solution, it is like a glass full of holes, if you cover the Born it will come out through Lluís Companys and if not through other streets beyond;”El Born has been in the media focus the last weekends, but it is happening all over Barcelona”.
One of the young people evicted by the Guàrdia Urbana on the Paseo de Lluís Companys, Isaac Ramírez, 27, has shown his disagreement with the police action. “We need to socialize, we’ve been locked up for a year and young people can’t be like this.”
The Barcelona restaurant union has argued on several occasions that this type of concentration demonstrates that, in comparison, allowing bars and restaurants to open in longer hours allows channeling “socialization, which is a fact”, in a more controlled way.
For its part, the Born Comerç association was “totally opposed” to these ” irresponsible attitudes in the midst of the pandemic.” In previous weeks, this entity regretted that the Administration, in the face of this type of concentration, “allows them and does not control them.”
With the current restrictions, catering establishments can only open to the public during breakfast and lunch hours (from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) with a capacity of 30% inside and distance between tables on the terraces. The establishments can serve, according to the regulations, “catering to serve at home or to collect customers at the establishment” until 10 pm.