A large influx of young tourists from France into neighboring Spain, because restrictive measures are much milder than their home country, this has caused local residents to fear the further spread of the coronavirus.
A young French woman said on the terrace of a cafe in Madrid: “We got some air.” She held a glass of beer and blew out cigarette smoke. She and a friend will stay in the Spanish capital for a few days.
Madrid is one of the European capitals with the mildest restrictions, and the warm weather now makes it even more attractive. Except for football fields and other sports events, all facilities are open to the public. The restaurants and cafes are open until 11pm, so they are full.
“This is terrible, terrible,” said Pilar, 75, accompanied by her husband in the city center. He added: “Young people gather to drink at night.”
Residents of Madrid have been wearing gas masks for a year, and no one can see anyone failing to comply with this rule, but cafes and travel during the Easter holidays are time-controlled virus bombs.
You must not leave the Province of Madrid, nor enter the Province of Madrid without a valid reason (such as going to work). It is necessary to confirm when entering or leaving, but this is only valid in theory.
Only in recent days have the police inspected passengers at certain stations because the number of arrivals and departures has increased significantly. City officials rely on the honesty and common sense of the residents, but many young people travel for leisure. Some purchase receipts obscure the true purpose of the trip.
“The restrictions on mobility should be much stricter than what is currently being implemented. Professor Alberto Infante from the Carlos III University of Madrid said that this situation is very likely to trigger a new wave of epidemics.
The Spanish Ministry of Health has recommended closing cafes across the country. In the past two weeks, more than 150 infected persons per 100,000 population have been diagnosed with infection.
However, 17 autonomous provinces are implementing these measures independently and are not obliged to listen to the recommendations.
According to the Ministry of Health, Madrid and the northern provinces of Catalonia, the Basque Country, Navarre and Asturias should close cafes, but oppose this to avoid harming the local economy. In addition, special regional elections will be held in Madrid in May.
Madrid Mayor José Luis Martínez-Almeida said: “Foreign tourists come here to visit museums, theaters, culture, and then sit in cafes.”
The Madrid dispute over restrictions has set off a new conflict between the central left government and the local right. The government of Prime Minister Sanchez supports tougher measures, while Madrid partly opposes the destruction caused by the unprecedented snowstorm in January.
The Spanish public television station TVE reported on the “French invasion”, as they said, “They don’t stand in line in front of the museum”, but sit in a cafe.
To enter Spain, it is necessary to show negative PCR test results at airports and seaports, but the system is more relaxed at highway border crossing points.