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Agents of the Mossos d'Esquadra investigate a funeral in the municipal stadium of Castellbell i el Vilar , a Barcelona town of 3,600 inhabitants, to clarify whether the regulations established by the state of alarm were breached due to the Covid-19 health crisis .
Several images show that about 300 people attended last May 21, while the town was in Phase 1 of the de-escalation, to an act of farewell to a neighbor who died the previous day. At that time, the maximum number of people allowed in the ceremony was 15 or ten if it was not outdoors. The organizer of the event was the City Council itself , led by the PSC. It so happens that the deceased, Eusebi Bach , was a well-known man, involved in the municipality and a socialist sympathizer.
The anonymous call from a neighbor alerted the Mossos, who are now trying to clarify whether the act could have involved any infraction, which is why they do not rule out drawing up a report, according to police sources that told this newspaper yesterday. The complainant described scenes of crowds in the stadium. The photographs - disseminated by the Consistory itself - show a parish priest located in the center of the field next to a coffin and in front of several tents enabled for thirty family members and close friends of the deceased to sit. The burial was followed from the stands and a side of the stadium by about 300 more people, according to neighborhood sources.
The crowd did not keep the mandatory safety distance during the ceremony, an irresponsibility that has generated reproaches among neighbors who reject the risks taken by the City Council and wonder if the massive act could have led to an increase in contagions in the area. The City Council organized and publicized the burial and opened the doors of the municipal facilities to pay tribute to the deceased, bypassing the regulations established by the state of alarm. In the municipality, other critics point to the use of the soccer field for an act that is not sports. The local government, led by the socialist Montserrat Badia , defends that the security measures were guaranteed despite the fact that mass burials were prohibited.
After the controversy, the Consistory assures that it proposed the funeral as an outdoor cultural event in which the attendees did not exceed a third of the capacity. In a statement released after the funeral, the government team emphasizes that 33% of the space occupied by the field of play was not exceeded; that all the attendees used a mask and that all the people washed their hands with hydroalcoholic gel before entering the premises. Although the images demonstrate the opposite, the City Council emphasizes that the attendees maintained the social distance of two meters.
The mayoress defends that she considered the funeral as "a public" and "cultural" event similar to those that have already begun to be organized in theaters and concert halls. "It was held on the soccer field applying the rules established in Phase 1 of the de-escalation," Badia claimed at a recent municipal plenary session in which the controversy was addressed.
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