Police in Barcelona Emergency Lifted

Police in Barcelona Emergency Lifted

Law enforcement officers in Barcelona were called in to disperse people drinking and dancing in the city centre and on a nearby beach in the first weekend since Spain lifted its state of emergency.

Barcelona Police, in collaboration with Catalonia's autonomous police force the Mossos d'Esquadra, said they had broken up crowds encompassing a total of 9,055 people between 10pm on Saturday and 6am on Sunday morning.

Some residents said the events were inevitable given the length of time restrictions have been in place in Spain, where 79 new infections per 100,000 people were reported last week - about 16 percent of the peak rate in January.

"This COVID thing has affected us a lot," one young woman told Euronews. "So now, everyone is very excited. They want to go out, they want to enjoy themselves and be with their friends. So I think it's normal."

Intra-regional travel bans and curfews were lifted in most of the country on May 9. Some regions including the Balearics opted to keep a curfew in place, but the move is legally contentious, with courts in both eastern Valencia and the Basque Country ruling that continued nighttime curfews were unlawful in those regions.

Explaining the new measures, a member of the national police told Euronews: "People can go out on the street, they can be on the street - there are no restrictions in force in that sense.

"What you have to do is to respect the safety measures and to wear a mask, not gather in large groups and above all, not share food and drink in public."

OTHER NEWS, The head of Germany’s independent vaccine advisory panel says it’s likely that all citizens will have to get vaccinated again next year against COVID-19.

Virologist Thomas Mertens, chairman of the Standing Committee on Vaccination (STIKO) at the Robert Koch Institute in Berlin, told Funke newspaper: "The virus won't leave us again."

In comments published on Sunday, he added that there is not yet enough data to say exactly when booster shots will be needed, or whether some groups will need it more urgently than others.

But, he said, “In principle, we have to prepare for everyone possibly having to refresh their vaccine protection next year.” Germany's coronavirus infection rate dropped to its lowest level in nearly two months on Friday, with just 96.5 new cases per 100,000 population recorded that week.

Nearly 30.4 million people, or 36.5 per cent of the population, had received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine by Friday. More than 9 million people, or 10.9 per cent of the population, are now fully vaccinated.

Mertens's comments come a month after Albert Bourla, the CEO of Pfizer, said it was "likely" that people will need a third booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine 12 months after their second, followed by annual revaccinations to stay on top of the virus mutating.

The European Union has already agreed a massive contract extension with Pfizer-BioNTech for a potential 1.8 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses to be delivered in 2021-23.

On May 8, European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen confirmed the deal on Twitter, saying 900 million doses were guaranteed and up to 900 million more could be ordered during the period.

Pfizer and Germany's BioNTech have already said they will provide the EU with an extra 50 million doses in the second quarter of this year, making up for flagtging deliveries of AstraZeneca.
Previous Post Next Post