Spain marks end of Covid curfew with boozy street and beach parties
Mass parties have been taking place around Spain in an eruption of euphoria as a six-month night curfew has come to an end.
Hundreds of people headed to the beach in Barcelona and squares from Seville to Bilbao in celebrations fuelled with alcohol as fines of more than £500 for breaking the lockdown were lifted.
Rowdy behaviour and large gatherings of people without face masks did see police step in to keep social distancing including at Madrid’s Puerta del Sol.
Madrid’s mayor Jose Luis Martinez-Almeida has called the images “shameful”.
In Barcelona deputy mayor Albert Batlle said that the police had had to intervene in over 30 gatherings around the city with the biggest by the beaches.
He said the concern was the “sanitary risk with people not keeping their distance and wearing masks.”
It was branded as the country’s belated New Year’s Eve in May as Spaniards could finally meet up at night with restrictions eased.
The Covid rules in Spain over the past six months had a strange night-time curfew for many where people had to be indoors by 11pm on Saturday but were free to go out at midnight. Reports were widespread of youngsters in Madrid and Barcelona breaking the rules for the hour.
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Current Covid rules differ greatly now around Spain but the Mediterranean beach resorts can welcome back holidaymakers.
Spain was dealt a blow though by UK Covid rules which saw it fail to make the “green list”.
On the Costa del Sol restaurants can stay open until midnight while bars and nightclubs do not need to close until 2am.
But Majorca and the other Balearic islands have kept their night curfews as has the Valencia region which includes the Costa Brava.
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Late on Saturday night, 16 people were arrested for public order offences after gathering in a city centre square in the Majorcan capital Palma as the local 11pm curfew kicked in. They allegedly threw missiles including stones at police when they were ordered to leave the area.
The Balearic and Canary Islands have been given amber status by the UK government which means tourists will have to quarantine and have Covid tests on their return.
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