Catalans Told Not to Dance With Strangers

Dolores Reyes Fernández, 61, hugs her father José Reyes Lozano, 87, for the first time in nearly four months as visits resume to a nursing home in Barcelona, Spain, on Monday. The Ballesol Fabra i Puig elderly care center installed screens made of plastic film to resume relatives’ visits to residents, halted in mid-March. Daughter and father toppled down the structure holding the screen as they eagerly reached out for each other in the presence of tearful nursing home workers. Nursing homes in Spain have been particularly hit by the novel virus, which has claimed at least 28,300 lives nationwide. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

BARCELONA, Spain (AFP) — Barcelona disco 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 discotheques 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 virus lockdown measures.

But on Monday, officials backpeddled 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.”

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.”

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 from each other, or wear a mask when that is not possible.

© Agence France-Presse

%d bloggers like this: