Dancing is now permitted on dance floors. / francis silva

Malaga gets back on the dance floor

Nightlife returns to normal with 100 per cent capacity in clubs, bar service and dancing

CRISTINA PINTO

As the clock struck midnight from Friday to Saturday in the Plaza de la Constitución, there was something in the air in the centre of Malaga.

The weekend that so many people had waited for for so long had begun.

For the first time since the pandemic started, nightlife had no Covid time restrictions in Malaga and most of the province. Only in the Costa del Sol health district (Torremolinos to Manilva) are there still restrictions regarding the capacity of venues and opening times.

The clubs now close at seven in the morning, people can go to the bar and the capacity is at 100 per cent.

Masks are still required when social distancing cannot be respected and drinks are not being consumed.

Pablo and Andrés, two young people who were looking for a club, commented on this first Friday of "almost normal" nightlife: "We must reactivate the economy of this sector. There is no information right now that says that nightlife cannot be open during normal hours."

Another local man, Anthony, was also out on the town that night. "We've been waiting for this moment to come for a long time, but on the other hand I've got used to leaving sooner and getting up earlier," he said, just before entering the nightclub.

The new opening hours pleased the manager of the flamenco venue Señorío, Alejandro Villalba: "People are coming to us later, now we have a licence until four, but that extra time helps us survive and get back to how we were before," he said at the doors of his pub.

Meanwhile, at almost one in the morning on Saturday, another city centre night spot, Sala Gold, had about 200 people inside when its capacity is almost 500. There was some atmosphere but it was still quiet at that time.

From the doors of the VIP area of this nightclub, one of the managers, Ismael Tieb, celebrated this respite: "Thank God. We are very happy to be able to start doing our work now and move forward with nightlife."

Daniel Maldonado, a partner of Tennessee, reflected on the previous months.

"We have lived through a very complicated period…But hey, that has already happened and we are in a different time. Now things are different," he said.

Plaza Uncibay was one of the busiest places in the centre that night: club representatives sought to give the best offers for their nightclubs; groups of friends went back and forth; and the queue for the Andén nightclub, which reopened its doors a week ago, was getting longer.

The night continued for as long as the revellers could hold out.

Some were still trying to adapt to the new opening hours and gave in before seven in the morning, but others stayed until the nightclubs closed.

The "new normal" has well and truluy arrived for nightlife in Malaga, among other parts of the province; however clubbers in the Costa del Sol district, still in Level 1, hope that their turn will come soon.