The Superior Court of Justice of Catalonia (TSJC) has rejected the request of the Catalan Government to maintain the curfew in large cities, after the judges rejected last Thursday to maintain night confinement in 148 municipalities and limited it to 19 locations of more than 5,000 inhabitants with more than 250 cases per 100,000 residents in the last seven days (index IA7).
The order of the magistrates argues that the subsequent request of the Generalitat to apply the night curfew in municipalities of more than 20,000 with an IA7 index higher than 125 does not meet its “own premises” on the date of the request, since some Of the 62 municipalities included in the petition, they do not reach this figure, including Barcelona, so that it is “unnecessary and disproportionate” to apply the restrictive measure.
The TSJC emphasizes that the curfew is not essential to safeguard public health with an IA7 lower than 250, and that to ensure social distance “the Administration has means that are equally effective and less damaging to fundamental rights and public freedoms “, to which he recalls that the control of social interactions is not a measure that must be authorized by courts and tribunals, and that the police can control it at night as they do during the day.
The night curfew had been applied in the main Catalan municipalities since mid-July to stop the fifth wave of the pandemic, but after the incidence rate fell, last Thursday the Supreme Court rejected the new extension requested by the Generalitat, immediately leaving The measure had no effect, after which there were crowds at night, such as the Gracia festivities in Barcelona and large bottles in the streets and beaches on the weekend.
Despite this, the Justice has denied the Government’s request for large cities, which has been regretted this Monday by the President of the Generalitat, Pere Aragonès, who has considered that “it is still necessary” to reduce the number of infections of Covid-19 in Catalonia, reports Europa Press .
Now, the curfew only remains in force in Alcarràs (Lleida), Amposta (Tarragona), Arenys de Munt (Barcelona), Badia del Vallès (Barcelona), Balaguer (Lleida), Banyoles (Girona), Calafell (Tarragona), Celrà (Girona), Cervelló (Barcelona), Gelida (Barcelona), Manlleu (Barcelona), Martorell (Barcelona), Montblanc (Tarragona), Móra d’Ebre (Tarragona), Palafolls (Barcelona), Salt (Girona), Sant Feliu de Guíxols (Girona), Sarrià de Ter (Girona) and Torroella de Montgrí (Girona).
For their part, leisure and restaurants ask, where the curfew has been lifted, to also reverse the restrictions that affect them, so that they can extend hours and reopen activities, offering an alternative of legal leisure, compared to the illegal bottles.
Thus, Fecasarm has presented this Monday before the TSJC an administrative contentious appeal against the restrictions to the sector dictated by the Generalitat, in which it requests that, in those localities where there is an accumulated incidence in the last seven days less than 250 cases per 100,000 inhabitants , the restoration activities may open until 1 a.m. and musical recreational activities until 3:30 a.m., with 30 minutes to vacate in both cases.
The TSJC’s decision is not isolated. After the end of the State of Alarm, several regional Courts of Justice have rejected requests for a night curfew made by regional executives, considering that they excessively limited individual freedom on the grounds of preserving public health.
The Supreme Court has made disparate decisions regarding the appeals it has dealt with. Thus, in July it allowed the perimeter closure of Peal de Becerro (Jaén) considering it justified, proportionate and necessary, but rejected the night curfew on the island of Tenerife for lacking justification and not being proportional, according to the ruling, after having take into account the level of restrictions, the incidence of the pandemic, asymptomatic cases and the rate of vaccination.
At the beginning of August, the Supreme Court endorsed measures to limit mobility at night between 1 and 6 in the morning in the municipalities of Huesca, Jaca, Monzón and Barbastro for public health reasons to contain the outbreak of coronavirus.
To this day, in addition to Catalonia, there are municipalities with a night curfew endorsed by the Justice in Andalusia, Navarra -on weekends and holidays- and the Valencian Community, with a total of 172 throughout the country.