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No more curfew for Andalucía or Catalunya, 'midnight licence' in Valencia, and other changes for this weekend
08 May 2021 @ 20:02

SOME restrictions are expected to continue in place even after Spain's 'State of Alarm' ends on Sunday, May 9, but in most cases, those limiting freedom of movement and trade will be considerably relaxed or removed.

In Andalucía, the 23.00 curfew will be moved to midnight on Saturday (May 8), 'to avoid confusion', after which it will cease to apply.

Also in the southern region, bars will be permitted to stay open until midnight, and nightclubs and discos will reopen.

The midnight closure will be in place for three weeks, after which the situation will be reviewed.

Now that the nationwide legal instrument covering limitations has been scrapped, regional governments have to refer their proposed measures to their own High Courts of Justice (TTSSJJ) for approval – and differing verdicts mean not every department in Spain is likely to be singing from the same hymn sheet.

In the Balearic Islands, for example, the curfew between 23.00 and 06.00, checks on anyone entering the region, limits on gatherings and social meetings, and restricted numbers in places of worship will continue after the TSJ agreed to these steps, but the prosecution service opposes them and intends to appeal.

The Comunidad Valenciana, on the east coast, has gained court approval for its own procedures, which include the curfew being moved from 22.00 to midnight, but the 'morning curfew' remaining at 06.00; groups of friends or family meeting up are limited to 10, and numbers in places of worship are restricted to 75%.

These rules will be in place until at least May 24, when the situation will be reviewed.

Catalunya, to the north of the Comunidad Valenciana, has also been given TSJ clearance, and although gatherings have now been reduced to a maximum of six people, the curfew has been scrapped.

Places of worship have come under particular scrutiny, since the final day of Ramadan and the huge family celebration of Eid ul-Fitr is expected to fall on May 12 – depending upon the moon cycle, as the exact date is never known until the very last minute – meaning that in pre-Covid years, Eid would start with a mass morning prayer and, in the run-up to the 'big day', attendance at the mosque would normally be much higher.

Also, spring is normally 'first communion season' for those who follow the Catholic faith, and would – under normal circumstances – include a huge family party after the confirmation service.

At the moment, only one regional government has been denied court permission to proceed with its planned restrictions, or lifting of these – the Basque Country, where the judges do not consider the regional president or lehendakari Íñigo Urkullu has the jurisdiction to shut the borders whenever incidence of contagion rises above 200 per 100,000 inhabitants (0.2% of the population) over a two-week period, nor to impose a curfew.

The same echelon of court – the TSJ – has indeed recognised regional presidents' jurisdiction in these areas in other parts of Spain, meaning the verdict is now open to dispute.


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