Hundreds of people were seen partying in Madrid, Spain — which has the second-highest COVID-19 incidence rate at 318 per 100,000 people — and the beaches of Barcelona early Sunday morning after the country’s state of emergency ended at midnight, with an 11 p.m. curfew also coming to an end. Many were seen maskless and not complying with social distancing rules.
While the country’s state of emergency ended, each region can seek approval from local courts to continue measures that were in place. Just four regions made the decision to continue the curfew.
But even as some celebrated, later on Sunday people had mixed feelings about the end of the state of emergency with the parties that were held overnight confusing some.
“We have to respect the measures,” said Asun Lasa in San Sebastian. “It is proven that if they leave things up to us, we don’t take control of the situation because people are craving to go out, but the situation is not ready for that.”
Spain is one of Europe’s worst-hit nations by COVID-19, with more than 78,000 deaths and 3.6 million total cases, but infection rates have fallen and with vaccinations progressing quickly, most of the 17 regions were able to scrap the curfew.
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