An extraordinary Council of Ministers decided all capacity restrictions for the public in basketball and football stadiums will be lifted. This means the stadiums can be completely full again for matches in the football and professional basketball leagues.
Health Minister Carolina Darias announced the decision saying, “I am sure that this decision will be very well received”. The adjustment in the Ley de Nueva Normalidad (Law for the New Normal) means from the start of the new season in August, the football and basketball stadiums will be full again for the first time since March 2020.
Supporters with face mask
Darias said the autonomous regions have the last word on the permitted audience capacity in the stadiums. Until now, that decision rested with the Supreme Court of Sport.
Furthermore, Darias said in the open-air stadiums the mask obligation will in principle remain in force, unless one and a half meters can be kept. In that case, the match may be attended without a face covering. In all covered stadiums, such as that of the Liga ACB (professional basketball competition), wearing a face mask remains mandatory.
From symbolic gesture to full support
The decision in Thursday’s extraordinary council follows up a request from Culture and Sports Minister Rodríguez Uribes. Last May, he urged that football and basketball supporters gradually return to the stadiums. In an initial response to this request, audiences were already slowly being allowed into the stadiums. However, that was more of a symbolic gesture than that many supporters benefited from it. Only stadiums in regions with a favourable epidemiological trend could have 30% capacity.
In recent weeks, 15,000 football fans, at the La Cartuja stadium in Seville, watched Spain’s matches in the group stage of the European Championship.