Spanish regions ease restrictions ahead of Easter as Covid cases drop

Spanish regions ease restrictions ahead of Easter as Covid cases drop
People walk along Ourense's Roman bridge in Galicia. Photo: Miguel Riopa/AFP
Several Spanish regions are relaxing restrictions for bars and restaurants and opening up their borders thanks to a drop of coronavirus cases in recent weeks.

On Monday Catalonia and Castilla y León reduced their restrictions on bars and restaurants, while Galicia eased its municipal restrictions on towns and cities.

The Basque Country follows Galicia’s lead today but both are keeping their regional borders shut.

In Castilla y León, a limited number of people will be allowed inside hospitality venues without drinking at the bar.

Catalan hospitality venues will now be open until 5pm, although those venues inside shopping centres will remain closed.

The relaxation of measures is thanks to falls in the numbers of coronavirus cases in recent weeks, RTVE reports. 

Meanwhile, in the Madrid region, the borders remain open but movement in certain areas remains restricted.

Hospitality is open until 11pm but no new customers can enter after 10pm. There are also limits on movement from 11pm to 6am in the region. 

Six people are allowed to gather on terraces, with four people allowed inside hospitality venues. Only carers are allowed to meet other people inside households.

The changes in Galicia and the Basque Country, which are more complex, are outlined below in more detail.

Galicia reopens A Coruña and Pontevedra

Galicia is keeping its borders shut but residents can move between different municipalities, unless those areas have had more than 500 cases per 100,000 residents in the last 14 days.

This means A Coruña and Pontevedra, two of the largest cities in Galicia, opened up on Monday. 

Bars reopen inside in A Coruña and Pontevedra, apart from in four small areas within the city that remain in the highest alert level: Arteixo, Mino, Ponteceso and Sobrado dos Monxes. Terrazas will be open for bars in those areas.

A curfew in Galicia remains in place from 10pm to 6am.

Basque Country reopens inter-regional travel

On Tuesday March 9th travel between different municipalities in the Basque Country will be permitted for the first time since January 13.

The Basque president Inigo Urkullu has said that this is “still not a moment of relaxation but maximum caution”.Restrictions like the limiting of groups to four people, the curfew between 10pm and 6am and the shutting down of commercial and cultural activity at 9pm remain in place.

By Ian Johnston

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