Spain's Ministry of Health offers a disco deal to the regions

The Minister of Health, Carolina Darias.
The Minister of Health, Carolina Darias. / EFE
  • The department says that if the regions agree to all nightlife closing at 3am they will give them absolute freedom to decide on the capacity and hours of bars and restaurants

Spain's Ministry of Health is preparing to present a deal to the regions at the next meeting of the Interterritorial Council of the National Health System (CISNS) on Wednesday, 9 June, in order to try and push through some of their nationwide coronavirus control restrictions this summer.

In the new draft proposal, the department headed by Carolina Darias does not make any mention of restrictions on the hospitality industry - including bars and restaurants. And this is not a mistake. It is a concession made by the Ministry of Health and the deal would give absolute freedom to the regions so that they themselves decide if they establish some type of limit, either in or outside the establishments, the distance between the tables or the closing hours of the premises.

However, in return for this freedom the Ministry of Health wants the regions to yield so that there is a common agreement throughout Spain to impose limitations on nightlife - such as nightclubs and disco-bars - and the draft foresees that establishments will open “when the epidemiological situation” allows. The closing time will usually be 2am, although in some cases 3am would be allowed.

With these variations, the department suggests that the 39 pages of the 'Coordinated response actions for the control of the transmission of COVID-19 ' document become a simple "recommendation" or "guidance” for the 19 regions and no longer "mandatory" as they have been since their publication in the Official State Gazette (BOE) last Saturday.