Spain plans to reopen nightlife venues in regions with fewer COVID-19 cases in time for the summer season as the country eyes an international tourism sector badly hit by the pandemic, EURACTIV’s partner EFE reported.
The ministry of health has proposed to the 17 regional governments to allow bars and nightclubs, which have been closed since August 2020, to stay open until 3 am and restaurants until 1 AM.
The new measures apply to beach restaurants as well, which will be allowed 50% capacity indoors and another 10% if air ventilation is ensured.
The new restrictions will stay in place until Spain reaches a 70% vaccination rate, Spain’s Health Minister Carolina Darias stressed.
However, Madrid, Catalonia, Galicia, Andalusia, Murcia and the Basque Country opposed the plan put forward by the health ministry.
According to the plan, outdoor terraces can operate at full capacity, with 1.5 meters distance between tables, which will be capped at six people indoors and 10 people outdoors.
Health authorities will also allow events with 2,500 to 10,000 people, depending on the COVID-19 situation of the region.
Spain has received 1.8 million international tourists in the first four months of 2021, an 82.6% drop compared to the 10.6 million visitors recorded in the same period last year.
However, with COVID-19 cases decreasing and the vaccination roll-out picking up, the country has begun to ease restrictions on the arrival of international tourists. From 7 June, all vaccinated people will be allowed to enter Spain with no restrictions.
[Edited by Paula Kenny]