Police issue 35,000 fines as Spain embraces ‘freedom’ after 48 days of lockdown

Police issue 35,000 fines as Spain embraces 'freedom' after 48 days of lockdown
Photo: AFP
More than 35,000 people were fined over the weekend as people went outside to take walks and exercise for the first time after 48 days of lockdown.

Strict rules were in place for the lifting of restrictions to allow people to leave their homes just to stretch their legs, go for a run or take a bike ride.

Before Saturday, adults were only allowed out of the house for specific reasons which included buying supplies from the supermarket or pharmacy and visiting a doctor.


A police van on patrol in Sevilla. Photo: AFP 

But from May 2nd, restrictions were lifted to allow adults, either alone or with someone else from the same household, to leave for up to an hour within a designated time slot depending on their age.

However, despite the majority following the rules, there were those who flouted the regulations.

Spain’s interior ministry said police across Spain had issued a total of 36,762 fines during the weekend and made 235 arrests.

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The total number of penalties issued since lockdown was declared on March 14th has now reached 806,595 with 7,189 arrests made.

Data provided by the Interior Ministry reveals that Saturday and Sunday are the peak time for breaking the rules with at least 30,000 fines issued each weekend since lockdown began.

The penalties reached their peak over the Easter weekend when almost 50,000 fines were issued.

The tweets below show the figures for Saturday and Sunday.

 

On Saturday night in Madrid, where May 2nd is a public holiday and day of festivity, police patrols had to break up 30 'botellones' – the Spanish word that describes a gathering of people on the street drinking, and issued 1,434 penalty notices. 

Municipal police said they had intervened in 30 different “street parties” involving between 5 and 12 people who were not keeping to social distancing measures. They also stopped 51 vehicles that were on the road without valid reason and made two arrests.

One video of people dancing in the street in the capital's Malasaña district went viral and prompted criticism from Madrid's mayor. Jose Luis Martínez Almeida who tweeted: “This hasn't been won yet. It’s taken a lot, it has taken many lives to get here. Let’s be responsible until the end.”

 

 

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