Hundreds of people were seen partying on Sunday (May 9) night in Madrid welcoming the end of Spain’s 11 p.m. curfew, which was lifted in all but four of the country’s 17 regions at midnight.
The state of emergency imposed last October, allowing the central government to enforce a nationwide curfew and local travel bans, ended at midnight and hundreds of young Madrid residents took to Sol square, traditionally used to celebrate new year’s eve, to cheer freedom, dance, play the drums and drink with their friends.
Many were seen maskless and not complying with social distancing.
“I think it is great (to end the curfew) because it has no sense,” said Maura, an Italian living in the Spanish capital.
Madrid has the second-highest COVID-19 incidence rate in Spain, at 318 per 100,000 people.
Although Madrid ended the curfew, bars and restaurants will have to close at midnight and regional leader have reinforced the police presence to prevent people from drinking in the street.
The curfew also ended in Andalusia at midnight. Bars and restaurants can also open until midnight and clubs can open until 2 a.m. but dance floors will only be allowed to open outside.
With the state of emergency over, each of Spain’s 17 regions must individually seek approval from local courts to continue such measures, likely creating a kaleidoscope of diverging restrictions and legal battles.
Just four regions approved continuing with the curfew – the Balearic Islands, Valencia, the Canary Islands and Navarra.
(Production: Michael Gore, Susana Vera, Jon Nazca, Silvio Castellanos)