As of today July17th at noon there are new measures in place affecting Barcelona and the metropolitan area regarding the latest outbreaks of Covid-19.
Life in the city was "business as usual" on the surface albeit with stricter measures of prevention which makes for 'strange' situations: queuing at certain moments in certain places/shops -whereas we've never queued before for these-, limited capacity in tourist sites, restaurants, even the beach...etc.
A few days ago there was an outbreak in Hospitalet -which is next to Barcelona- and three of their districts had some extra measures implemented. At no time close to a lockdown though. As expected, the outbreak has expanded to neighbouring areas (the metropolitan area of Barcelona is very densely inhabited) so as of TODAY (Friday 17th at noon) there are new measures in place involving the whole metropolitan area, INCLUDING Barcelona.
Firstly let's make clear there is no lockdown. The new measures are divided between recommendations and prohibitions. Among the first, the recommendation to avoid unnecessary wanders or to keep distance and masks at all times, among the second the temporary closure of venues which normally congregate a large number of people such as museums, discos or theatres. Check more details here.
These measures will be in place for at least two weeks and then will be reviewed again adjusting to the evolution of the outbreaks.
Flights and public transportation are open and working -with the measures regarding social distance and capacity mentioned earlier.
If you were planning to visit and can postpone, do so. Not that you wouldn't be able to do "anything" but you'll be limited and some places/activities won't be available.
It's important to notice that, as in many other large destinations, the situation is not "critical" as it was in March. Indeed most of the positive patients are either asymptomatic or suffer mild episodes of COVID-19, but this doesn't mean we don't have some critical ones as well. Hospitals are coping well and resources are available when necessary.
Again. as we all know, this is a fluid situation and the above reflects the situation as of today. That could change for the better or the worst in the coming weeks. Yet no total lockdown as in March is expected to be in place for the forthcoming future.
Lastly to mention that if you "need" to come, and should you be caught in a worsening of the situation, you will be able to return home.
And no, I feel there's not a general "sense of scare" but rather concern. Still, here in Catalonia, we're mainly quite relaxed and it's very unlikely you'd encounter such extended paranoia and hysteria as seen in other parts of the world where fights over wearing or not a mask have erupted. Cool on the surface, concerned underneath, that seems to be the most common attitude among responsible residents.
Reminding everybody that wearing the mask is not only compulsory but also enforced by most in these shores. Don't be the a*hole not doing so, please.