AS COVID restrictions in Spain came to an end, exhilarated people partied – seemingly thinking that social distancing and masks are no longer necessary even if the virus has not yet been defeated.
These pictures show the scenes in the Barrio de Gracia in Barcelona as people took to the streets to party.
Crowds also last night gathered in Madrid’s Puerta del Sol in a ‘celebration’ that was reminiscent of the New Year’s party that fills the famous square. Hundreds of mainly young people counted down the clock as it struck midnight and marked the end of the national restrictions.
Many also took to beaches in Barcelona and elsewhere to drink the night away.
Crowds in Barcelona and Madrid chanted ‘freedom’ last night
Police in Barcelona had told people to go home at 10pm as the curfew still applied. But at midnight they then let people back on the streets as restrictions lifted.
Not all regions of Spain have ended the curfew though. The Valencian Community will keep a curfew as part of a new package of measures that came into force today. The government got approval from the Valencian Superior Court to keep a reduced curfew going.
The measures will run between May 9 and May 24, after the court refused to let them run until the end of the month.
In Valencia the main changes from the current rules are:
CURFEW:- The 10.00 pm curfew will now start at midnight from this Sunday night and will continue to run until 6.00 am.
Previous exemptions apply like travel for work-related reasons and medical emergencies.
The curfew is largely being maintained to stop illegal late-night parties either indoors or outdoors.
BORDER REOPENS: The Valencian Community border that has been closed since October 30 is reopened from tomorrow following the end of the State of Alarm.
HOSPITALITY: The closing time for bars and restaurants will be extended from 10.00 pm to 11.30 pm.
Up to 10 people will be able to be seated together, as opposed to the current limit of six.
Indoor capacity will be increased from 30% to 50%, with the outdoor terrace capacity maintained at 100%.
The Canaries Navarra and Baleares are also keeping some curfew restrictions.