Coronavirus in Spain: all the latest restrictions ahead of Easter week

The country’s regions are limiting mobility during the upcoming holidays in order to curb the spread of the virus. Nighttime curfews will remain in place, among other measures

Madrid -
A waiter serving tables at a restaurant on Malvarrosa beach in Valencia this week.
A waiter serving tables at a restaurant on Malvarrosa beach in Valencia this week.Manuel Bruque (EFE)

In response to the third wave of the coronavirus, some of Spain’s regions opted to close hospitality establishments and other non-essential activities in a bit to bring down infections. That third wave has now subsided, but given fears that relaxing measures during Easter week could see a new spike, as happened after the Christmas season, restrictions will remain in place over the coming weeks.

The coordinated measures came into force on March 17 and will remain in place until March 21 in the regions where Friday is a holiday: Madrid, Valencia, the Basque Country, Extremadura, Murcia, Navarre and Galicia. Madrid and Extremadura, the only regions that were still open to movement, will be subject to perimetral lockdowns. What’s more, these regions are limiting social meetings to a maximum of six people in open public spaces, four in closed areas and just those who live together in a private environment. There is also a curfew from 11pm to 6am, although the regions can bring this forward to 10pm if they wish. The same measures will be applied across Spain from March 26 to April 9, when all regions will be subject to a perimetral lockdown apart from the Canary and Balearic islands. Here is a region-by-region breakdown of the current restrictions across Spain.

Andalusia

The region is maintaining its perimetral lockdown. Mobility between provinces is also prohibited during Easter week, until April 9. From March 19, the curfew will be from 11pm to 6am across Andalusia, and hospitality establishments and other businesses will be able to open until 10.30pm, apart from municipalities where the coronavirus incidence rate is above 1,000 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. In areas where the rate is above 500, no one can leave and enter, but businesses can stay open until 10.30pm. Social meetings are limited to six people, apart from the inside of bars, cafés and restaurants, where the maximum is four.

The center of Seville in January
The center of Seville in JanuaryPACO PUENTES (EL PAÍS)

Aragón

The regional government will maintain the perimetral lockdown but lifted the confinement of its three provinces from March 12. The 11pm-6am curfew remains, as well as a limit on social meetings of six people outside, four inside. Hospitality and non-essential business can open until 10pm, while sidewalk cafés can open at 100% capacity, but inside the limit is 30%. Gyms and other sports centers are also at 30%, while cinemas, museums and places of worship are limited to 50%. Betting houses must limit capacity to 30%. Business meetings are permitted, with capacity at 30% and a maximum of 150 people. Tourism activities are limited to 10 people. Smoking is banned outside sporting venues, while any celebrations for local fiestas remain banned until May 31, which is the end date of the current state of alarm as decreed by the central government.

Asturias

The region is subject to a permitral lockdown, apart from exceptions such as study or work. The curfew is in place from 10pm to 6am. Both restrictions will stay in place while the state of alarm is in force.

Hospitality and non-essential business must close at 8pm. Smoking is banned in sidewalk cafés. Social meetings are limited to six people, or four in bars and restaurants whether inside or outside. Bar service is prohibited. Retail outlets and malls must limit capacity to 30%. Cultural activities are permitted with up to 300 people and 1.5-meter social distancing must be observed, and masks are obligatory. Sporting activities are permitted outside to a maximum of 15 people, without physical contact, and respecting two-meter social distancing. Inside, there is a limit of six people. Gyms are open.

Balearic Islands

All travelers arriving in the Balearic Islands from regions with a 14-day cumulative number of coronavirus cases per 100,000 inhabitants above 150 must present a negative PCR test if they are tourists, or an antigen test if they have a justified reason to travel there. At Easter, the perimetral lockdown of nearly all Spain’s regions – apart from the Balearics and the Canaries – means that Spanish tourists will not be able to travel to these island destinations, which are not subject to perimetral lockdowns.

From March 13 to April 11, a curfew from 10pm to 6am is in place. In Mallorca and Formentera, up to six people from up to two different households can meet. Bars and restaurants can open their sidewalk cafés up to 50% capacity until 5pm in Mallorca and 6pm in Formentera, with a maximum of four people to a table outside and 30% capacity inside also with four to a table. Businesses can increase capacity to 75% but malls must stay closed on Sundays and holidays, with 30% capacity limit on Saturday and 50% the rest of the week. All businesses must close at 10pm. Gyms can reopen at 30% and theaters and auditoriums are limited to 50%.

On Menorca, up to six people from up to two different households can meet. Bars and restaurants can open inside up to 50% of capacity with four people per table and must close at 5pm. Sidewalk cafés can have capacity of 100% with six people per table and must close at 10pm, apart from Fridays, Saturdays and the night before holidays when they must close at 6pm. Businesses can increase their capacity to 100% and must close at 10pm.

On Ibiza, social meetings are limited to six people. Bars and restaurants can open sidewalk cafés at 50% capacity with four people per table and must close at 5pm. Businesses and malls can open at 50% capacity and must close at 10pm. Gyms can open at 30%.

Basque Country

Spain’s Basque Country is maintaining its perimetral lockdown. Travel between the region’s municipalities, however, has been allowed since March 9. The current curfew between 10pm and 6am, and the four-person limit on social gatherings in private and public spaces, will remain in place until March 26.

Public transportation services end at 11pm. Stores measuring less than 150 square meters are allowed to open at 60% capacity and at 40% if they are above this threshold. Capacity at all cultural and social events, and at places of worship, is limited to 35%. The hospitality sector was allowed to reopen on February 10 after the Basque High Court suspended an order from the regional government closing down food and drink establishments in municipalities with high transmission rates. Bars and restaurants must close at 10pm, bar counter service is prohibited and food can only be consumed while seated. No more than four people are allowed at the same table, regardless of whether they belong to the same family or household. A family of more than four people must be seated at two different tables.

Canary Islands

Here are the alert levels on each island:

  • Reinforced level 2: Gran Canaria, Tenerife and Fuerteventura
  • Level 2: Lanzarote
  • Level 1: El Hierro, La Palma and La Gomera

None of the islands is on level 4, which is the most restrictive. The Easter week restrictions are due to be announced today.

Islands on level 1 have a 12am to 6am curfew, while the limit on social meetings from different households is up from six to 10. Islands on level 2 have the curfew from 11pm to 6am, while the limit on meetings is six people. The reinforced level 2 sees a curfew from 10pm to 6am and a maximum of four people at social meetings, whether public or private and inside and outside – the exception is for those who live together. For bars and restaurants, capacity is limited to 50% inside and out, with a maximum of four people at tables, two at the bar, and a closing time of 10pm.

Anyone traveling to the islands from any part of Spain, apart from those under the age of six, must provide a negative coronavirus test taken 72 hours prior to arrival. PCR, antigen and TMA tests are allowed. This requirement will be in place until after Easter week.

Tourists in a hotel in Tenerife this week.
Tourists in a hotel in Tenerife this week.Miguel Barreto (EFE)

Cantabria

From March 17, the curfew in Cantabria will be from 11pm to 6am. Bars and restaurants can stay open until 10.30pm but must stop serving at 10pm. The regional government reopened the interior of such establishments on March 3, with capacity limited to a third and six diners per table.

All other businesses must close at 9.30pm, while the region is subject to a perimetral lockdown and a limit of six people at social meetings.

Malls can open, with a capacity of 50% in stores and common areas. In the workplace, common spaces such as meeting rooms and canteens can reopen, along with locker rooms.

Funerals are limited to 50 people outdoors and 30 indoors, with 50% capacity in both cases. At weddings, the maximum is 150 people outdoors and 30 inside, with capacity of 50%.

Capacity has been increased to 75% for libraries, museums, monuments and other cultural areas such as cinemas and theaters.

Sports activities can be practiced in groups of up to six people – more if they live together – with no physical contact and a limit of one person per four square meters. Sports facilities cannot exceed 50% capacity.

For training, competitions and sporting events, the public are allowed to attend while they are seated and do not exceed capacity of a third. The limit is 300 in closed spaces and 1,000 outdoors.

Casinos and betting houses can reopen, with a third of capacity.

Castilla-La Mancha

The regional government had pushed the curfew start time to midnight, but people will be asked to stay at home between 11pm and 7am from March 26 to April 9. Food and drink establishments must close by 11pm as well. The regional borders will remain sealed.

Castilla-La Mancha is on alert level 2 except for three locations that remain at level 3: Valmojado (Toledo), Torrenueva (Ciudad Real) and Horche (Guadalajara). Elsewhere in the region, visitors and residents of care homes are allowed in and out; supermarkets and malls may operate at 50% capacity, cinemas and theaters may sell 30% of available seats, while libraries and museums have a 50% limit on attendance.

Gatherings of six people are currently allowed in public and private settings, but during the Easter period this number will be reduced to four people in indoor public spaces.

At bars and restaurants, indoor seating areas may operate at 50% capacity, and 75% in outdoor areas. Although the region recently announced a mandatory QR system for accessing these establishments with the goal of facilitating the work of contact tracers in the event of an outbreak, this measure has been postponed and the system is being used on a voluntary basis.

Hotels are operating at 75% capacity, while gaming centers are functioning at 50% capacity. Competitions organized by sports federations may be held at 30% capacity for indoor events (up to a maximum of 300 spectators) and 50% for outdoor events (up to 500). Sports events not organized by a regulatory body have a threshold of six people.

Street markets may only operate with a third of the usual stalls. Parks and other public green areas will remain closed between 10pm and 8am.

Castilla y León

The regional borders remain sealed, and a 10pm-6am curfew is in place. Social gatherings are limited to four members of different households. These measures will remain in effect until at least April 5.

Indoor dining areas are open at a third of capacity, and food and drink establishments must close by 10pm. Shopping centers, sports facilities and cultural centers have reopened. There is no attendance limit on outdoor sports, as long as hygiene measures are observed.

There is a 30% capacity limit on religious events, and the regional government has banned traditional Easter processions and all other related events likely to draw crowds between March 28 and April 4.

Restrictions on visits to care homes have been eased due to the high vaccination rate among residents and workers.

Catalonia

On March 15, the Catalan government lifted the ban on travel between comarcas, an administrative division in parts of Spain, although only members of the same household may travel together.

Non-essential stores may open on weekends, and shopping malls are allowed to open up to 800 square meters of retail space. Sports competitions for under-16s are allowed once more, and betting houses may reopen. These measures will be in place until March 28.

The regional borders remain closed, and there is a 10pm-6am curfew in place. Gatherings are limited to six people from no more than two different households. Bars and restaurants may now open uninterruptedly until 5pm, instead of having a morning and a lunchtime schedule only.

In-person learning has resumed at universities at 30% capacity; cultural events at museums, libraries and exhibition galleries are allowed at 50% capacity. After-school activities are now permitted at the early education and primary stages with a maximum of six students (or more if they are all part of the same bubble). At the secondary level, only afterschool activities inside the school facilities are allowed. Social centers for older adults are also allowed to organize outdoor activities.

In sports, the upper limit of six people for indoor activities has been lifted, although a 30% capacity threshold remains in place. At swimming pools, capacity has been raised from 30% to 50%.

Nighttime entertainment venues remain completely closed. Religious events may be held at 30% capacity up to a maximum of 1,000 people. Care homes may receive visitors with appointments. Residents of homes rated as green or orange may leave the premises for daytime walks.

Health workers in the intensive care unit of Vall d'Hebron hospital in Barcelona.
Health workers in the intensive care unit of Vall d'Hebron hospital in Barcelona.Albert Garcia (EL PAÍS)

Extremadura

The regional government of Extremadura is applying similar restrictions throughout the period ranging from this week’s San José festivity to the end of the Easter holidays. From March 17 to April 9, regional borders will be sealed again (they had been reopened on February 19). An 11pm-6am curfew will be in place, and social gatherings will be limited to six people in outdoor public settings, four people in indoor public spaces, and only members of the same household in private gatherings.

As for food and drink establishments, capacity in outdoor seating areas is set at 75%, and reduced to 40% indoors. Retail stores may open at 40% capacity.

Galicia

Galicia is easing business hours and capacity limits for bars and restaurants during the long weekend of San José (March 19). Regional borders remain closed but free movement is allowed within Galicia, with the exception of three small municipalities that have stricter measures in place.

Starting on Friday, food and drink establishments may open until 9pm, a three-hour extension from current closing hours. In locations where the 14-day cumulative number of cases per 100,000 inhabitants is less than 150 – which is currently the case in areas where 85% of all Gallegos live – capacity at these establishments is being raised to 50% indoors and 75% outdoors. In locations with an incidence rate between 150 and 250, which includes the city of A Coruña, the limits are 30% indoors and 50% outdoors. Anything above 250 means that only outdoor service is allowed.

Social gatherings are restricted to members of the same household in private settings, six in outdoor public spaces and four in indoor public spaces. A 10pm-6am curfew is in place. The regional government said it will reassess these measures on March 29 or 30, and adjust them accordingly.

Non-essential stores are following regular business hours again, and sports facilities, libraries, theaters and cultural centers are open. Starting on Friday, these spaces will have a capacity limit of 30% or 50%, depending on the incidence rate.

La Rioja

La Rioja’s government is maintaining the perimetral lockdown of the region. The restrictions on travel between different municipalities in the region were lifted on February 22, after being in place for a month. The curfew is from 11pm to 5am and there is a six-person limit on social gatherings between members of different households. Between March 26 and April 9, only four people are allowed to gather in closed public spaces, and only members of the same household can gather in private spaces and homes. All types of large events are prohibited over Easter week. In food and drink establishments, capacity is limited at 50% in indoor areas and 75% for outdoor areas. Bar counter service is prohibited and all nighttime bars and clubs remain closed. Capacity in shops, cinemas, theaters and libraries is limited to 50% and to 30% for places of worship.

Madrid

The Madrid government will place the region under a perimetral lockdown between March 17 and 21 for the Father’s Day long weekend and between March 26 and April 9 over the Easter holidays, in accordance with the agreement reached by the Inter-Territorial Council of the National Health System, which brings together health officials from the regions and the central Health Ministry. However, the Madrid government has rejected the agreement and appealed to the courts on the grounds that it cannot be “forced” to introduce the measures.

Madrid will remain under a curfew from 11pm and 6am. Bars and restaurants must close at 11pm and are not allowed to accept new patrons after 10pm. Socializing with people outside of one’s household in the home is prohibited, save for some exceptions, such as care workers, couples who live in separate homes and people who live alone.

In public spaces, there is a six-person limit on social gatherings in outdoor areas, such as sidewalk cafés, and a four-person limit in the indoor areas of bars and restaurants. Businesses must close at 10pm, unless they provide essential services such as pharmacies and medical centers. Cinemas, theaters, places of worship must close at 10pm to ensure the curfew is respected.

Since February 23, seniors in residences have been allowed one-hour family visits up to three times a week. Residents who have been vaccinated can freely enter and leave the centers.

As of March 13, only one basic healthcare area – a unit that is much smaller than a city district and can include several primary healthcare centers – in the municipality of Morata Tajuña is still under a perimetral lockdown.

Madrid's Plaza Santa Ana on February 18.
Madrid's Plaza Santa Ana on February 18.Samuel Sánchez

Murcia

Murcia will continue to seal its borders and remain under a 10pm to 6am curfew between March 17 and April 9. Social gatherings in homes are limited to members of the same household, while in bars and restaurants, up to four people from different households are allowed to gather both in outdoor and indoor dining areas, although capacity is limited to 30% for the latter. Face masks must be worn at all times except when eating and drinking. Parks and gardens close at 7pm, and capacity at cinemas, theaters, libraries and stores is 50%. The only municipality under a perimetral lockdown is Librilla, where indoor dining is also prohibited.

Navarre

The Navarre government has extended the 11pm-to-6am curfew and perimetral lockdown of the region until March 25. Social gatherings in private and public spaces are limited to six people from two different households. But between March 17 and 21, there are tighter restrictions: only four people are allowed to gather in indoor public spaces, while only members of the same household are allowed in indoor private spaces. The six-person-limit remains for meeting in outdoor public settings. With respect to the hospitality industry, capacity in indoor dining areas is limited to 30%, with only table service permitted. There are no restrictions on capacity for sidewalk cafés, but no more than four people are allowed at the same table and the use of face masks is mandatory. Smoking is prohibited if a two-meter social distance cannot be respected.

Bars and restaurants must close at 9pm, but home delivery is allowed until 11.30pm. Capacity in large supermarkets and stores is limited to 40%. No more than 10 people are allowed to practice sport in indoor centers and runners must wear a face mask if they cannot keep a social distance of 1.5 meters.

Valencia

Until April 12, Valencia will relax some of its current restrictions. The region will remain under a perimetral lockdown, but movement between provinces is permitted. The curfew is from 10pm to 6am. Social meetings in public are limited to four people, whether indoor or out, with the exception of people who live together. Meetings in private are prohibited unless you live together.

Bars and restaurants can reopen their indoor areas at 30% capacity, but patrons must be seated and bar service is prohibited. Outdoors capacity is 100%. Closing time is 6pm, and tables have a limit of four diners. Nightclubs, dance halls and nighttime bars remain shut.

Sports facilities and gyms can open at 30% and must close by 10pm. Swimming pools are also limited to 30% and locker rooms can be used, but not showers nor water fountains. Sports can be practiced without a mask provided there are no crowds. Masks are recommended on beaches and in communal pools, as well as in outdoor spaces.

Funerals and places of worship are limited to 30%, with a capacity of 20 people outside or 15 inside, and social distancing must be observed. Any kind of event involving food being served is limited to 20 people outside and 15 inside.

Ceuta

Spain’s exclave city of Ceuta in North Africa is preparing a new decree for the Easter holidays that is “likely” to come into effect on March 22, according to sources from the health department. Two changes are being considered: pushing back the curfew an hour so that it starts at 11pm and increasing the number of people allowed at the same table on sidewalk cafés from four to six. The four-person limit in indoor dining areas would remain the same.

Social gatherings in houses and other private spaces will continue to be limited to two, unless they are members of the same household. Hospitality and hostelry establishments have to close at 10pm and cannot allow new patrons in after 9.30pm. Capacity for indoor and outdoor dining areas is limited to 30% and 50%, respectively. Capacity in stores is also restricted to 50%. Home delivery service is allowed to operate until midnight. With respect to food and drink establishments, the owner or manager must keep a record of all patrons, listing their full name and contact details, for 14 days to assist to assist with contact tracing.

Melilla

The North African exclave city of Melilla is maintaining its perimetral lockdown, meaning no one can enter or leave without a justified reason, such as to go to work. The current curfew between 10pm and 6am will also remain in place. There is a four-person limit on social gatherings in private and public spaces, unless the individuals belong to the same household, or the meeting is in a work, institutional, educational or sporting setting. In places of worship, capacity is limited to 30% and social distancing must be respected. The same conditions apply to sports facilities, gyms, museums, cinemas and theaters. All cultural and sporting events are suspended. All businesses, including food and drink establishments must close at 7pm. Exceptions are made for pharmacies, gyms, gas stations and education centers, which must shut at 9.30pm. Takeaway food service will be available until 7pm and home delivery until 11pm.

With reporting by Javier Martín-Arroyo, Josep Catà, Diego Estebanez García, Caridad Bermeo, Héctor Llanos Martínez, Cristina Vázquez, Mikel Ormazabal, Juan Navarro, Elisa Tasca, Lucía Tolosa, Marta Pinedo, Miguel Ángel Medina, Jakub Olesiuk and Emilio Sánchez Hidalgo.

English version by Simon Hunter, Susana Urra and Melissa Kitson.

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