Is It Fair That Madrid Parties While The Rest Of Spain Locks Down?

After the bars shut and the curfew begins at 11 p.m. in Madrid, the true fun continues.

That’s when young, multilingual parties of party goers from Ireland, the Nordic countries, France, and, most notably, Germany meet their Spanish friends in the narrow alleys of Old Madrid in search of illegal pleasure. The majority are in their early twenties, ready to party in the Capital city like they haven’t been free to do for weeks at home due to tight security restrictions.

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Madrid has earned a reputation as a sanctuary of pleasure in Europe’s desert of prohibitions, due to its strategy of free bars and pubs, both inside and out, and for holding galleries and attractions open even when illnesses have stressed hospitals.

Still No Choice For The Costas

Some sections of Spain have a tighter mentality toward culture. And sunny beach resorts have a small variety of choices for the few tourists who have begun to arrive during Easter week, considering a patchwork of European travel laws.

“It’s a great treat for me to be able to walk into bars since you can’t do that in France. I can go to restaurants, hang out with friends outside of the house, and learn about the city here “Romy Karel expressed his thoughts on the topic. Last Thursday, the 20-year-old Berliner travelled to Madrid from Bordeaux, where she is pursuing her studies in social sciences.

“I can’t recall the last time I did anything like this,” she admitted.

Madrid Welcomes Tourists

The tourists are attracting crucial business to the area and providing lawmakers with plenty of fodder for discussion ahead of a polarized municipal referendum. Isabel Daz Ayuso, the local president of Madrid who is seeking reelection, is campaigning under the slogan “independence” in an attempt to broaden her appeal outside her conservative base.

Efforts to boost tourism outside of the city are yielding mixed results. This is due in part to a patchwork of laws at the provincial, global, or even European levels that prohibit domestic travel restrictions in many countries whilst leaving a backdoor for those searching for a Spanish vacation.

About the fact that Germany has prohibited all tourist destinations and discourages international travel, the government permits visits to the Balearic Islands in Spain, which have a lower rate of infection. Flights and hotel reservations were made, but many people were surprised to learn that pubs and clubs were closed at night when they arrived.

Madrid Feels Liberated Compared To Germany

“Coming here seems like liberation because we have so many laws in Germany,” Marius Hoffman, 18, said shortly after arriving in Palma de Mallorca, the archipelago’s capital, this past weekend.

Another German visitor, David Stock, who visited Granada’s iconic Alhambra site this week, noted the contradiction between his government’s laws and Spain’s welcoming attitude toward visitors.

“These days, there are odd laws everywhere,” Stock said.

Hard-hit areas in France are restricting free travel to a 10-kilometer (roughly six-mile) area of their homes. It’s too many for those who look south for excitement, particularly with the national nightly curfew and the full shutdown of bars and restaurants after last October.

One Fifth Of Incoming Madrid Flights From France

France currently accounts for one-fifth of all entering flights to Madrid, and cellphone roaming data research has shown an increase in the number of French mobile phones in the Capital city since January, with weekends becoming the busiest.

When the curfew is enforced, many of the partygoers flock to underground parties promoted by messaging networks. On their journey back to their leased Airbnbs, some attract fellow binge drinkers. Police said they split up more than 350 underage gatherings over the weekend, with some of the guests hidden in wardrobes or other “improbable” locations.

Spain recently announced that a clear coronavirus screening requirement for those arriving by sea or air will be extended to those arriving by land from France.

European Flights Into Madrid While Spaniards Restricted Travel

Foreigners, such as Hoffman and Karel, will fly straight from Munich or Bordeaux to coastal resorts or historical attractions in Spain, while Spaniards are unable to move around the world to their second homes or meet relatives.

Many people are offended by this, like Nuria López, a 45-year-old bakery shop owner in Madrid.

López said, “It’s unjust.” “However, it is helpful for Madrid’s economy, which we need.”

Many others, like her, see the importance of boosting an industry that contributed to 12.5 percent of Spain’s GDP in 2019 and hired nearly 13 percent of the country’s workforce. The near-total suspension of foreign transport, along with the country’s first uncompromising lockdown last year, resulted in a 10.8% reduction in GDP in 2020, the largest drop since before the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s.

As a result, even as hospitals reopened during the holidays, lawmakers defied pressure to obey the lead of other European nations and mandate absolute stay-at-home directives, as well as the closure of schools and most companies.

Unlike its neighbor, Portugal, which strengthened the obligatory isolation provision for most incoming travelers on Monday, Spain has resisted implementing quarantines on tourists from other EU member countries to this day.

Pandemic exhaustion, particularly among younger people, and a lack of a shared European agenda, according to Pablo Daz, a tourism specialist at the Barcelona-based UOC university, have meant that “tourism has sought ways to create direct routes in an intuitive manner where supply and demand meet.”

“It’s been like a burst of fresh air for tourism,” he said of the increase in purchases ahead of Easter week.

“However, that does not imply that the industry will emerge from the ICU any time soon,” he said.

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