Government rules out forcing the regions to limit mass events after the state of alarm ends

The Minister of Health, Carolina Darias.
The Minister of Health, Carolina Darias. / EFE
  • Spain's Health minister Carolina Darias said that draft Public Health Commission proposals that include cultural and sporting events, festivals and conferences held after 9 May will be a guide and not mandatory

Spain's central government is not willing to enter into a war with the regions to impose coronavirus limitations on mass events after the end of the state of alarm on 9 May .

The Minister of Health, Carolina Darias, has guaranteed that a draft Public Health Commission document on the banning of mass gatherings depending on the cumulative incidence rate in the province will only be a guide for the regional governments in order to standardise the measures throughout the country, but “in no case will we try to force the regions to follow these recommendations.”

“To recommend is not to prohibit. This type of event is the responsibility of the regions," said the minister.

The Public Health Commission proposal, which is still being drafted and debated, establishes four levels according to the provincial cumulative incidence rate.

In the provinces at "extreme risk" in which there is a cumulative incidence rate of 250 cases or more, it will not be possible to hold "cultural, sporting, religious" events or "festivals or conferences" in which "a high number of people", gather either outside or inside.

In “high risk” provinces (with an incidence rate between 150 and 250) the maximum capacity at events will be 50 per cent and 250 people outdoors and 40 per cent and 75 indoors, as long as there is a seat distance or 1.5 metres of separation if there are no fixed seats. If these distances cannot be kept, "the suspension of all events and mass activities" in those provinces with high levels of contagion is recommended.

In "medium risk" areas (an incidence rate between 50 to 150) the capacity will be 75 per cent outdoors with a maximum of 500 people and 50 per cent indoors with 150 as a maximum.

And in the provinces in the “new normal” bracket (less than 50 cases per 100,000 inhabitants) there will be activities with a maximum capacity of 75 per cent outside and 60 per cent indoors and with a maximum of 1,000 people outdoors and 300 indoors.