Madrid to remove most of its restrictions on Monday

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Madrid will remove most of its pandemic restrictions on Monday, as part of a general easing of Spain’s lockdown rules after the country’s coronavirus infection rate fell to its lowest level in more than a year .

Restaurants and bars in the Spanish capital region will be allowed to stay open as late as their licenses allow them to operate, while shopping malls, cinemas and theaters will no longer have to apply capacity limits. Only a few restrictions will remain in Madrid, including party size limits at restaurants – 10 per outdoor table, up from eight – and a 75% capacity limit at nightclubs.

Last week, Spain’s 14-day infection rate fell below 100 recorded cases per 100,000 population, the lowest since August 2020. The latest data comes after the infection rate hit nearly 700 in July, before dropping to 400 last month.

Most experts attribute the improvement to the acceleration of Spain’s vaccination campaign, which has enabled the government to meet its goal of fully vaccinating 70% of the country‘s population by the end of August. As of Friday, 35.8 million people, or more than 75 percent of the population, had been fully vaccinated, making Spain one of the largest vaccinated populations in Europe.

Tourism in Spain, which has maintained only limited travel restrictions over the summer, is also expected to increase after London’s decision last week to stop forcing vaccinated visitors to test for Covid-19 before returning in Great Britain. The change, which goes into effect on October 4, also benefits other European countries heavily dependent on British tourists, such as Portugal, France and Italy.

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