Having become the European hotspot for coronavirus, Spain has stayed in the headlines since March. When the country officially reopened in June to foreign and domestic travel, people wondered what it would look like. As each community has things differently, and Madrid has once again become the hotspot of Spain for cases, the question most asked is, “What is open in Madrid post lockdown?” What a loaded question it is.
Madrid has technically gone back into lockdown, but not that of confinement, which the entire country endured March-May of 2020. Instead, movement restrictions were put into place. The intended goal was to lower the spread of the virus and keep ICU unit capacity low. The local government is fighting to keep Madrid open as much as possible during this new normal. But do remember the situation is rapidly changing. I will do my best to keep this post-up-to-date. The best beat is always checking local news sites before making any major travel plans to Madrid.
So here’s what you and the rest of us good people have to look forward to while spending time in Madrid.
Have no fear, the shops are open and bustling. If you take a walk down Gran Via on the weekend, you might find a line outside of them infamous Primark. There is a requirement to wear masks and sanitize your hands upon entry. It isn’t rare to see a guard standing at the front of the door, reminding people to sanitize their hands. At the checkout, there are marks on the floor to indicate safe standing distance. Many places have also adopted contactless payment methods. Upon exiting, be mindful of the signage as there are now designated doors to reduce foot traffic.
Currently, entertainment establishments are operating at 75% capacity. They must close at night midnight along with other operating services in the city. But this means theater lovers will get to see shows, and movie lovers can escape the house and check out what’s on the big screen. For those like me who love live music, that’s back on the table. There are even plans for COVID-friendly music festivals. For all the art loves, museums are open and operating. You won’t be missing out on the rich cultural experience they have to offer.
Bars and Restaurants
To the delight of many, indoor and outdoor dining remain open. Bar service itself is off-limits, but patrons are able to dine and drink inside. The capacity is capped at 50%. For the less daring folks who want to be out in the fresh air, seating capacity is 75%. There are measures in place to ensure tables are safely distanced and cleaned thoroughly between each party. Some establishments are putting on a limit on dining time. So punctuality is key. The no pasa nada lifestyle won’t fly here. When it’s time to go, it’s time to go. But don’t fret; there are still place around the city that will take walk-ins and let you linger past finishing your meal. For dinner options, restaurants can’t take people in after 11PM and must close at midnight.
The theme park at Casa de Campo is up and operating. This isn’t an area I know a lot about. As an Orlando native, I’m a bit of a theme park snob and don’t plan to attend anytime soon. But my pals have been post-lockdown and enjoyed themselves. So those of you who get their rocks off from roller coasters and similar thrills will still have fun. It’s recommended that you buy your ticket online and have them accessible on a mobile device. Like other establishments in Madrid, a mask is mandatory on park grounds.
Aside from parks geared towards children, all the parks are open and operating. You can go for a run, take your blanket for a relaxing read, or just chill and people watch. You still have to keep your group capped at 6 people if you’re meeting at the park. Of course, maintaining all other safety precautions, but it’s nice to get out into nature.
Hotel, Hostels, and other Accommodations
Right now, some hotels and hostels are operating at 50% capacity. But as the European continent responds to the second wave, accommodation rules may change. Many are worried about what this will mean for the autumn and winter puentes and Christmas tourism. The best thing to do is to reach out to individual establishments before finalizing your trip.
In terms of other accommodations such as apartments and AirBnBs it’s a mixed bag. I was in an AirBnB for a month with no problem. The original booking was cancelled because the owner wanted to make more money from short term stays. So if you’re planning to stick around for a while, shoot them an email before pulling the trigger to avoid leg work later.
That said, the apartment I’m living in now was an AirBnB listing. The property manager figured having long term renters would be more financially sound. For those looking to secure a place to live, now might to the time to get a furnished home in an ideal location for relatively cheap. In these unstable times, people want to know they’ll have income coming their way.
Nightlife and Social Gatherings
With midnight curfew, clubs are not open. If you’re thinking you can host a get together outside or at someone’s house, think again. From midnight to 6 AM, you are not banned from hosting social gatherings. If you’re keen to hang out during the daytime, remember you are allowed no more than 6 people unless you’re living together.
In my opinion, the most important thing, because how else will you get around the city. Thankfully public transportation is up and running in the city. You can travel throughout the community of Madrid via the metro, Cercanias, and buses. Everything is running on the normal schedule. It is compulsory to wear a mask. At times, capacity control will occur at stations to keep train cars from being overcrowded, and passengers have to stand in line. This might result in missing a scheduled train or two. It is essential to keep that possibility in mind when making plans.