Spain best vaccination figures but strictest restrictions in Europe

by Lorraine Williamson
stadium capacity among the strictest restrictions

MADRID – Spain is one of the larger European countries with the best vaccination rates. Yet it is also one of the countries in Europe with the strictest restrictions to prevent contamination. Here, we compare Spain with other countries in Europe in terms of the corona approach.  

At the time of writing, 77.1% of the Spanish population is fully vaccinated. That’s a decent percentage considering the number of people who live in Spain. For comparison; in Germany 63.5% are fully vaccinated, in the United Kingdom the vaccination rate is 66.9%, and in France 62.2%. Of all the larger European countries, only Portugal ranks higher than Spain with a percentage of 83.3% of the population already fully vaccinated. 

What restrictions apply in European countries? 

The Reopen Europe website shows which measures are still in force per country, and sometimes per region, to prevent contamination of the virus. The Spanish-language article on listed the main measures per country in Europe. Many measures apply to the entire country. In Spain, each region is allowed to impose its own restrictions, something that also happens in the larger cities in Germany, Italy, and Belgium. 

Facemask obligation 

Although the mask obligation expired outdoors at the end of June, many people are still walking around on the street with a mouth cap. Likewise, the Spanish government does still advise this, especially when it is busier. Furthermore, in most indoor areas and on public transport in Spain, wearing a face mask is still mandatory. Spain has a similar policy to other countries with regard to mouth caps. But more strict than in the UK or Sweden, where mouth caps are no longer mandatory in indoor areas. 

Maximum capacity of football stadiums 

Although Spain is a football country, the stadiums may only be filled to a maximum of 60%. In some regions, it is even less. Meanwhile, full arenas are possible again in the UK, the Netherlands, and France. However, in many cases people do have to submit a Covid certificate. 

Meetings and events 

Spain is quite a contrast when it comes to gatherings or events where people are together en masse. Berlin, for example, uses a maximum of 100 people, in Belgium this is 400 people and in the Netherlands events with a maximum of 750 people can take place, with or without a Covid certificate. These numbers are in stark contrast to the 10-person limit in Galicia, Murcia, and Extremadura. This strict restriction does not apply throughout Spain, in some regions it is currently only advice. 

Spain stricter on nightlife than elsewhere in Europe 

Spain also maintains a limited capacity for the hospitality industry and still keeps the nightlife largely closed. This while Germany, the United Kingdom, and Poland have opened up nightlife despite lower vaccination rates. 

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