Street parties across Spain as the state of alarm finishes
Tens of thousands of thousands of people, mostly young people and adolescents, celebrated in the streets across Spain from midnight to mark the end of the more than six months of the state of alarm. Crowds of people, in many cases without masks or social distancing, were drinking, singing and dancing in the streets.
The situation was particularly complicated in the capital of Spain, Madrid, where Police were unable to prevent the massive gatherings. Officers, at 11:30pm, before the state of alarm even ended, had to vacate Puerta del Sol where a crowd was gathering waiting for the clock at the Casa de Correos to strike twelve, as if it were New Year's Eve.
There was even a countdown and with champagne corks popping when the clock struck midnight. Finally, the police decided not to act as their cordon couldn’t prevent over a thousand young people from having a party, including a huge conga, in front of the stupefied officers.
But this was by no means the only place in Madrid turned into a street party.Hhundreds of young people gathered in Malasaña and Chueca, one of the city's most popular nightclubs, without distancing or masks, where it turned nasty with bottles thrown at the agents and clashes with the security forces.
Barcelona was the other great party spot in the country, where the riot almost reached the levels of Madrid. Several hundred people, without masks, gathered on the Lluis Companys promenade, under the Arc de Triomphe, after the end of the shortest curfew, which lasted for the last time only between 10pm and midnight!
There were also parties, firecrackers, and clashes in El Born, in Plaça dels Àngels or on Barceloneta beach, where the Guardia Urbana ended up arresting about 200 people, most of them for being out in public without distancing or masks. Among those arrested were numerous young foreigners who had come to the capital to expressly celebrate the end of the state of alarm.
In the end, the Barcelona Guardia Urbana and the Mossos d'Esquadra issued fines and sanctions to some 6,500 people in 31 points of the city for not complying with the measures against anti-Covid health measures.
Another city that left images of thousands of people on the street without anti-covid measures was Salamanca. A crowd literally invaded the Plaza Mayor of the capital at the stroke of midnight to celebrate the end of the state of alarm and night-time restrictions.
In general, as reported by municipalities and local police, there were celebrations and concentrations, of greater or lesser magnitude, in a good part of the country's populations, including towns in four communities that still maintain a curfew: the Canary Islands, Navarra, the Valencian Community and Balearics.
In Palma, the National Police arrested 16 people for causing altercations in a rally in the Plaza de España in the Balearic capital where about 200 people gathered to protest the decision of the regional executive to maintain the curfew at 11:00pm, after having obtained the endorsement of the Superior of Justice of that community.