Bermuda Post

Monday, Sep 28, 2020

Madrid bars back in business – beaches open elsewhere in Spain

Madrid bars back in business – beaches open elsewhere in Spain

After ten weeks of coronavirus confinement, on Monday 25, Madrid residents were able to go to bars, although only on the terraces, while elsewhere in Spain, where the number covid cases is lower people are now able to go to the beach.
On a street in the historic center of the capital, the San Ginés chocolate factory, famous for its churros with chocolate, had six of the usual 13 tables set up on its terrace this morning, to guarantee the safety distance. The indoor areas remain closed for customers.

"We have been open for 125 years, and it is the first time that we have been closed like this," said the manager, Daniel Real.

"Soon we will open 24 hours as before, but right now the night shift is suppressed, due to the absence of tourists and because the disco next door, which usually brings us many clients, is still closed."

The parks, starting with the Retiro, also opened, after ten weeks of closing.

"It gives me some peace that the Retiro is open again, it comforts me," says Rosa San José, a 50-year-old high school teacher, who came to the park for a walk in sports clothes and wearing a mask, before starting teleworking from her home.

The Spanish capital, as well as Barcelona and its metropolitan area and a part of the Castilla y León region (north), entered on Monday the first phase of the progressive lack of confidence proposed by the Spanish government, which had already started the rest of the country.

In this stage, the terraces of the bars, the spaces of worship and museums or libraries are allowed to open, always with limited capacity and keeping safety distances, as well as meetings for up to ten people.

In the last week, Spain managed to contain the mortality of the epidemic below one hundred deaths per day. Even so, it is one of the most punished countries in the world with more than 28,700 deaths and some 235,000 confirmed positive for coronavirus.

Besides Madrid, the other major focus of coronavirus has been Barcelona and its metropolitan area.

On the promenade of the old fishing district of Barceloneta, the revival left images similar to those of Madrid this Monday.

Barcelona residents can walk, swim or run on the beach from this Monday onwards, but must wait to the opening of the next phase in order to sunbathe.

On the other hand, in the regions that began the ease of control two weeks ago and are already in the second phase of de-climbing, the beaches can open for recreational reasons and the bars can use their interior spaces.

This is the case of the Balearic or Canary archipelagoes, the north coast and much of Andalusia, where the Ministry of Health asked that local authorities control access to beaches and the safety distance between bathers.

In its recommendations, Sanidad decided to separate the umbrellas four meters apart and delimit strips in the sand, something that in some municipalities did with colored ribbons, dividing the beach into numerous squares, one for each group.

At the moment, everything is focused on the local customer. International tourists, who are required to be in their forties for fourteen days when they enter the country, will be able to start returning to Spain "from July," as announced on Saturday by the head of government, Pedro Sánchez, in order to once again promote arrivals from foreigners to the second tourist destination in the world, where this sector represents 12% of GDP.
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