NIGHTCLUBS across Catalonia including Barcelona and the beach resorts of the Costa Brava are to close after a coronavirus spike.
The move comes as Spanish health officials admit they could be dealing with a second coronavirus wave with Catalonia and Aragon the two worst-affected areas.
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As well as nightclubs closing for 15 days, bars, restaurants and casinos must shut by midnight.
Josep Maria Argimon, the secretary of Public Health of Catalonia, admitted its health system was facing “critical days.”
“We’re not in critical days like in March, when our hospital intensive care units were full,” he said.
“Now what’s critical is that people follow all the rules and guidelines to ensure the spread of the virus slows down.”
Catalonia reported 8,563 new Covid-19 cases of in the 14 days up to Thursday – almost half of the 17,842 detected throughout Spain during the period.
That came despite guidelines for residents of regional capital Barcelona to stay at home.
Musical activities with dance floors or spaces outside the establishments are also suspended.
In addition casinos and bingo halls throughout Catalonia – a region of eight million people – must now close at midnight.
Barcelona earlier this week said it was reducing the maximum number of people who could use its beaches at any one time as officials urged sun seekers to avoid weekend peak periods.
The spike in coronavirus cases comes as French PM Jean Castex has urged the country’s citizens to avoid travelling to Catalonia because of the health situation there.
“We strongly encourage French citizens to avoid going there until the health situation improves,” said Castex.
The Catalan late-night entertainment shutdown follows a path being taken by other regions in Spain.
A lockdown in the municipality of Totana in Murcia, south east Spain was the result of a Covid-19 outbreak centred on a pub called Dubai.
More than 50 people at the nightspot tested positive for the virus.
Around 30,000 residents are affected by the Totana lockdown, with entry and exit into the municipality banned except in cases of extreme necessity.
Restaurants and bars are only allowed to open outside terrace areas with 50 per cent capacity.
Late-night bars in Murcia have been told they can only serve customers outside who are sat down in places like terraces where social distancing is guaranteed.
In Navarra, which includes the city of Pamplona where the famous Running of the Bulls normally takes place every year, nightspots must close at 2am.
Officials in Madrid are studying plans to bring in new reductions in the number of people inside and outside bars and clubs at any one time.