Figures released yesterday, Monday 29th March, show that Madrid´s police had their busiest weekend ever trying to curtail Madrid´s booming clandestine night scene, raiding 384 illegal parties across the capital leading to 65 arrested and over 3,500 fines issued for breaking the curfew and illegal gatherings.
In addition footage has been circulating on social media of Friday night in the Puerta del Sol area as hundreds of youngsters gathered to party in the street after the curfew closing time of 11pm for bars and restaurants.
Partygoers flooded the streets at “chucking out time” taking with them their drinks and continuing drinking and dancing in tightly packed groups and ignoring COVID-19 restrictions.
The footage was recorded on Espoz and Mina off Sol on Friday (26th March) and shared on Twitter by netizen ‘JuanmaSamusenko’ where it has been viewed 3.6 million times.
In the clip, the large crowd is seen passing from bar to bar, singing and dancing and apparently ignoring the current restrictions which prohibit groups of more than six people from gathering outside.
In front of the O Connel Street Irish pub, around a dozen people huddle together chanting and singing with their masks pulled down.
The footage sparked outrage online as people expressed their anger at the irresponsibility of ignoring COVID-19 restrictions just as cases in Spain are beginning to creep up again.
Netizen ‘David Vidal’ commented on the post: “We have to stop sugar coating things. Because of this, in 15 days more people will die in Madrid. Cause and effect.”
‘Manuel Gonzalez’ also voiced his concern for the impact this will have on COVID-19 infections, commenting: “This is completely immoral and repulsive. 500 Spaniards lost their lives today in a disaster that began one year ago. These images are scandalous.”
‘Juan Ocha’ replied “let’s save our summer”, suggesting that if COVD-19 can be brought under control now then the country will be on the right path to a ‘normal’ holiday season.
The local government also came under fire from netizens who wanted to know why the authorities failed to stop the illegal gatherings.
‘Maykel_1990’ tweeted in response to the clip: “Where are the police when you need them?”
‘Asturika’ also questioned the lack of a police presence at the scene, writing: “Madrid is a city without laws in the middle of a pandemic. What an embarrassment.”
Madrid has been one of the hardest hit regions of the coronavirus and continues to have the highest infection rate in Spain with 255 cases per 100,000 inhabitants compared to a national average of 149.
To date the region has recorded 631,614 cases and 23,108 deaths from the virus out of a national toll of 3,270,825 cases and 75,199 related deaths.