Easing of restrictions

Health Ministry rectifies and gives freedom to autonomous communities to decide on nightlife restrictions

Darias announces that finally there will be no recommendations for the hospitality industry

2 min
The Minister of Health, Carolina Darias, in a press conference at the Moncloa

MadridThe Ministry of Health has given in. It renounces to impose mandatory measures and will finally give freedom to the communities to establish measures to decide on nightlife. After autonomous governments led by Madrid and Euskadi voted against the government's plan, rebelled against the impositions -Madrid has even filed an appeal before the National Court- and announced that they would implement their own roadmap, the Spanish government has accepted that its measures to reopen nightclubs and celebrate large crowded events are only recommendations. As for the hospitality industry, Health finally will not make any recommendations and leaves everything in the hands of regional governments.

At the inter-territorial meeting held on Wednesday, all communities, except for Euskadi, which has not participated in the vote, have voted in favour of the new document presented by Health, which does not pose any mandatory measures. The Minister of Health, Carolina Darias, thus closes the controversy that her department has faced in recent days. This Wednesday they have wanted to lower the tension by stressing the importance of consensus. "The government always listens. Society was asking for it. The image of division does not help", Darias acknowledged. "If we enter the crisis together, we have to get out of the crisis together", the minister insisted.

Catalonia, which also defended that it would implement its own plan to ease restrictions and not that of the Spanish government, has valued "positively" the consensus that the new document has obtained on Wednesday. "The measures have gone from being mandatory to recommendations. Each territory, depending on how the epidemiological data evolve, can modify them", sources of the Catalan Health department have highlighted. The Basque Country has once again distanced itself from the document because it considers that only the communities have the responsibility to establish measures at this point in the pandemic, when the state of alarm is no longer in force.

Flexibility in the opening of nightclubs

The Health Ministry has not only decided to recommend rather than force. As advanced by the ARA on Tuesday, it has also relaxed the recommendations and has accepted that areas with a medium risk, such as Catalonia, can also reopen nightclubs. According to the first proposal, which generated the controversy, nightclubs could only open if the risk was low, while with the document finally approved on Wednesday, pending publication in the Official State Gazette, it is allowed to reopen with a higher incidence.