After the Central Government's defeat before the High Court concerning the restrictions it wanted to impose, it is now looking for a deal with the regional Governments.
What had happened was that during the last meeting of regional health ministers with one from the Central Government, there was a rebellion amongst the ranks. Although the majority of the autonomous regions voted in favour at least six voted against it and refused to implement the restrictions, amongst them Andalucía.
The original measures were that municipalities where there is a contagion rate of 150 per 100,000 would have to close the inside of bars and restaurants and only use their terraces but would have to stop serving at midnight and close by 01.00h. Furthermore night clubs and discotheques would have to close, full stop.
Now, when you consider that during the last period of the Estado de Alarma you would need to have a contagion rate of 1,000 per 100,000 inhabitants to have your nonessential businesses closed, so the Central Government’s plan went down like a lead balloon, so much so that one of the autonomous regions took the Central Government’s idea to court resulting in the measures being thrown out. The reason that the High Court wouldn’t except them is because there is no Estado de Alarma in place which permits certain constitution rights to be temporarily suppressed.
So, the Government has come back with an offer which basically goes like this; we’ll leave your bars and restaurants out of this, but your night clubs and discos will have to close. This is the deal that the national Health Minister is taking along to the next inter-territorial meeting between health ministers.
Basically, the national Health Minister, Sra. Darias, will leave eateries (bars, restaurants etc) up to each autonomous government to decide what restrictions to impose if any, We’re talking about serving at the bar, table separation, closing times, maximum seating capacity inside and out, etc.
However, the downside or counterpoint to the concession is that there will have to be a mutually agreed restrictions on the night-life sector. The draft document say that businesses in this sector can only reopen when the pandemic situation in any given autonomous region is outside the risk levels (Levels One & Two). Closing time will be 02.00h and in some cases 03.00h.
Nevertheless, the impositions are now recommendations and not obligatory, as was the case before, as stipulated in the Boletín Oficial del Estado (BOE) published last Saturday.
the national Health Minister hopes that these new conditions will be approved unanimously tomorrow, which is when the next inter-territorial meeting of health ministers takes place.