The nightclubs of the Front Marítim of Barcelona skip the closure taking advantage of restaurant licenses | SER Catalunya


Barely twenty steps separate the entrance, on the street, from the interior of the Opium nightclub, in front of the Barcelona beach. 20 steps that represent a window to the past or a clandestine pulse to the rules and restrictions imposed by the Government to appease the wave of infections that can put public health in check. Hundreds of young people, almost all foreigners, dance on the dance floor, in front of a stage where the DJ plays hits up to 15 minutes before 1 am, when the lights turn on and everyone has to go home. The scene is identical in other places in the Maritime Front: Pachá, Shoko or Bestial Beach, although both from the employers’ association and from the property of some premises, they deny that they function as a “disco”.

Outside, at the door, a letter announces hamburgers, bravas, salads or tacos. “If you come at 8pm you can eat something,” says a public relations man, who tries to seduce some groups to access the VIP of the very long line to enter. “There are a lot of people inside,” acknowledges the promoter, who concludes: “this is a nightclub, although with Covid standards: at 1 am everyone goes home.” At the entrance, everyone must show their Covid passport and, in some places, even their DNI. “The entrance is 20 euros with a drink”, they demand in Opium.

Queue to access Opium on Friday night / Cadena SER

While on the ground floor hundreds of young people dance and shout, crowded together on the dance floor, some patrols from the Mossos and the Urban Guard pass by in the street, who are not even moved by the crowd. They have orders to be pedagogical, admit some agents who prefer to remain anonymous. They hope that before 2 am the crowd will disappear without causing too much fuss.

Half an hour passes after curfew when some young people, drunk, crowd the street looking for where to continue the party. Fines are not an option. “It is useless, they are foreigners and the sanctions would not reach them,” laments a policeman. Most are exchange students from the United States, France or the Netherlands, although there are also tourists who come looking to party. “In Holland we can’t go anywhere, here, on the other hand, we can party and dance whatever we want. It’s fantastic,” explains Anne, an 18-year-old who goes out with a 16-year-old friend from Opium.

Letter with the menu at the entrance of Pachá this weekend / Cadena SER

Consulted by this writing, sources from the Costa Este Group, owner of Pachá and Opium, deny the greater. The group claims to comply with the Covid measures to the letter. “We provide a restaurant-only service. People take off the mask when they are at the table to drink their drink and put it on to circulate around the room,” say sources from Costa Este, despite the images captured by SER Catalunya. of the week in some of its premises.

The nightlife employers also close ranks. “These venues have a double license, but now they are not used as a disco but are only a bar-restaurant,” Joaquim Boadas, general secretary of FECASARM, assures SER Catalunya. Boadas adds: “it is impossible to prevent a client from getting up because we cannot have a control person for each client, nor ask everyone to wear a mask all the time, even if we try”. The truth is that in some of these places not even a good part of the employees wear masks.

The Barcelona City Council assures SER CATALUNYA that the district inspectors and the Urban Guard have been carrying out periodic inspections in these discotheques. After detecting a large presence of people, this weekend the agents returned to inspect them, but did not detect any breach. Municipal sources consulted admit that they cannot remain 24 hours monitoring them and that they do not have the capacity to vacate these premises either. The consistory, which will continue with the inspections, calls for the responsibility of customers and especially of the owners of the premises.

The Department of Health, in charge of sanctions, passes the ball to Interior, responsible for the device. From the Interior, they ensure that the Mossos carry out prevention and information work. Since the entry into force of the Covid Passport and the curfew, they assure that they started an information campaign, intervening on demand, which ended this Sunday, and for which they still do not have data.





cadenaser.com

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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