The Semana Santa of 2022 starts next Sunday, April 10. It is the first time in two years that Holy Week in Spain can be celebrated normally, without measures, and without fixed time frames. And, even better, it can be celebrated happily with residents and tourists.
The fact that Spain will be able to celebrate Semana Santa “normally” next week provides a look back at the past two years. In 2020 and 2021, the Spaniards were not allowed to leave their own regions to prevent travel movements and crowds. This was to prevent the spread of the coronavirus as much as possible.
There was also a curfew, and the catering industry had to close earlier. Also, people had to watch a scaled-down version of the celebrations from their balconies. Now, a few weeks before April 20, the moment when the mask obligation in indoor spaces also disappears, the celebrations of the Semana Santa of 2020 and 2021 seem very far away.
Processions Semana Santa throughout Spain, sometimes with small measures
Where the processions were cancelled in previous years, these are fully planned for next week. Although everything looks like a normal Semana Santa, some regional authorities – such as those in Andalucia – do recommend wearing masks in the crowds and during the procession. Furthermore, they recommend the use of self-tests for the participants who will form a human tower together.
Tourists in Spain are back
Not only the processions are back, but the tourists are also here again this year. On Thursday, the Spanish news site RTVE.es wrote about the explosion of booked holidays to Spain during Semana Santa. Although many people waited until the last minute, the number of bookings for hotels in Spanish cities has increased significantly in recent weeks.
Mass arrival of foreign tourists to Spain
Tourism organisations in Spain expect a 90% recovery in bookings compared to the years before the pandemic. Many of these bookings were made by foreign tourists deciding at the last minute to spend some time in Spain. It helps, of course, that Spain recently announced that no additional health form is required to travel to Spain. Only a valid QR code is enough to enter Spain.
The curfew, the ban on gatherings of more than a fixed number of people, and travel restrictions are behind us. Therefore, thankfully it now seems we are finally entering a fairly normal Semana Santa.