The ending of the state of alarm in Spain and the decision of the regional Madrid government not to keep the midnight curfew in place led to street celebrations throughout the capital this weekend.
Crowds gathered in the Puerta del Sol as well as other Madrid night spots such as Malasaña ,in what was reminiscent of a New Year’s Eve, as revellers counted down the clock to midnight and the end of the state of alarm that had been in place for the previous six months.
The crowds of mostly young people danced and drank with little sign of respecting social distancing or respecting health protocols.
Social gatherings of more than six people are still prohibited and police were called to break up an estimated 450 such gatherings on Saturday night including a mass botellon consisting of hundreds of young people in the Plaza Dos de Mayo.
Depite the end of the state of alarm and the declining national infection rate, Madrid still has one of the highest of all of Spain´s 17 auonomous regions.
Some 23,000 Madrileños have died from the coronavirus and there still remain some 2,000 patients in Madrid hospitals of whom 500 are in ICUs ( intensive care beds).
Not all regions have ended the curfew though. In Valencia with an incidence rate nearly ten time slower than Madrid, it will continue until at least 24th May.
The Madrid regional health authorities have announced that there will be continuing restrictions on social mobility and gatherings including the closure of all bars and and restaurants from midnight with no new customers admitted after 11pm.
Nightclubs and discos are to remain closed.
In addition service at the bar is prohibited with a maximum of 4 four people for indoor and six people for outdoor tables and maintianing the 50% capacity indoor and 75% outdoor for establishments.
Cinemas and theatres can stay open until midnigth with a 75% capacity limit and spacing between seating.
Museums have a maximum capacity of 10 people for groups and along with libraries have a 75% capacity limit.
Other restrictions to continue in place in the Madrid region include 50% capacity limitations on bullfighting rings and concert venues such as the Wizink Centre with a latest closing time of midnight.
Gyms and sports centres can be open from 0600 until 23.00 at a maximum of 50% capacity.
Recreational parks ( including childrens play areas) have a 40% peak capacity limit whilst zoos, fun parks and tourist amusement centres have a 60% capacity limit.
Casinos and bingo halls and horse racing tracks have a 50% limit while business trade fairs and meetings are fixed at 75% capacity.
In addition the regional government will continue to monitor the Covid-19 incidence rate to impose local restrictions if required.
As of today, Monday 10th May, 14 of the regions “basic health areas have mobility restrictions and perimeter closure.