Plan to reopen nightlife too slow for some Spanish regions, too loose for others | The powerful 790 KFGO
MADRID (Reuters) – Several Spanish regions on Thursday criticized a national plan to relax COVID-19 restrictions on clubs and bars based on infection rates, either because it is too slow or too loose, pointing to the strained relations between different administrations.
Under the plan, which was approved by a slim majority at a regional summit on Wednesday, regions with a 14-day infection rate of less than 50 cases per 100,000 residents will be able to open nightclubs for up to 3 a.m. in the morning.
Madrid, whose conservative leader Isabel Diaz Ayuso recently won a landslide election after campaigning on more lenient measures, and which has a rate of 165 over 14 days, has said it will not adhere to the plan.
“This rule is not mandatory and cannot be enforced,” Ayuso said. “We are talking about a political imposition which is not based on health and which is arbitrary.”
Miquel Iceta, regional policy minister in Spain’s left-wing coalition government, urged disgruntled regional leaders not to view the plan as an imposition.
“I beg everyone to respect it, not because it is obligatory but because it is good for all of us,” he said.
Spain’s overall infection rate fell to 118.5 cases per 100,000 on Wednesday, nearly halving since late April, but only the Balearic Islands, Valencia and the North African enclave of Ceuta satisfy the ‘requirement of less than 50 to open clubs.
In areas deemed to be at medium risk, where infections tend to decrease – the case for most of the country – sites can also open but the capacity is limited to 30%.
Inigo Urkullu, the lehendakari, as the regional leader in the Basque Country is called, said he opposed the easing of measures arguing that he was too loose and said he would stick to the restrictions that his administration approved earlier this week, according to the local Europa news agency. Hurry.
Alberto Nunez Feijoo, head of the northwestern region of Galicia and member of the Ayuso People’s Party, accused the left-wing central government of obstructing the reopening of the economy.
“The same government that left the responsibility in the hands of the regions and refused to coordinate with the worst of the pandemic now wants to limit the process of opening up,” he tweeted.
“We must not make this mistake.”
(Reporting by Nathan Allen and Inti Landauro; Editing by Nick Macfie)