MADRID – A hard setback for the Ministry of Health after a week of tensions. Health leaders of the 11 regions approved a revised version of the document on hospitality and nightlife relaxation and easing on Wednesday.
The plan allowed regions with a low infection rate to open nightclubs until 3 a.m. In the revised version of the nightlife relaxation document following the court ruling, the rules are reduced to non-binding guidelines. That means, according to the newspaper La Vanguardia, interior areas of bars and restaurants must remain closed. And the opening of entertainment venues will not take place if the concerned region has a high-risk level of infections.
The measures for the catering industry have disappeared from the document and those for the nightlife have now become recommendations. Health Minister Carolina Darias confirmed during a press conference. Each region must now decide for itself when and how clubs can open again depending on the health situation surrounding Covid.
‘Invasion of Powers’
Madrid’s regional president on Monday challenged the measures already published in the official gazette BOE. Following this, the National Court voted to suspend them within the region. Ayuso argued in her letter the “damage caused by the invasion of powers” by having to follow the instructions issued by the national health ministry.
In a tweet, President Isabel Díaz Ayuso immediately expressed her satisfaction with the ruling of the National Court. She believes the court agrees with her complaint about the invasion of power.
Six regions voted against. Of these, Galicia, Murcia, and Andalucia also expressed their intention to go to the National Court.
Ayuso, who won a huge election in Madrid on the basis of a campaign for less strict Covid measures, saw the plan as a restriction on civil liberties and foresaw that the measures would cause “immediate, irreparable and insurmountable damage to entertainment venues and discotheques, hotels.” and restaurants, and out-of-the-ordinary mass events and activities. This was stated in her letter to the court, to which the newspaper El Confidencial had access.
Not all regional leaders agree with her. For example, the leader of the Basque Country, Iñigo Urkullu, believes that stricter rules should be introduced to contain infections.