Progressive 180 degree turn in less than a week. Health has gone from publishing on Saturday in the BOE the rules for a summer full of restrictions on the hotel industry and nightlife, to substantially lowering the limitations on bars and restaurants on Monday after the judicial blow from the National Court to those limitations in Madrid, directly give up today to set any type of corset, even to discos and other nightlife venues, which were the spaces that most concerned the department headed by Carolina Darias, to the point that it was the only restriction that the central government aspired to continue imposing after the dust unleashed by the autonomic ‘rebellion’ to the new regulations for this summer.
In the last document presented this Wednesday to the communities to be approved in the Interterritorial Council of the National Health System (CISNS), Health proposes a text that is almost impossible not to agree because, in reality, it does not impose any obligation on the autonomies, since everything has become mere “recommendations” or the agreement has been endowed with such broad flexibility of interpretation that it is no more than a declaration of intent, which all administrations can comply or fail to comply with without any legal or administrative repercussions.
Thus, the new document on coordinated actions establishes that “The opening of nightlife venues may be authorized based on the evolution of epidemiological data and in accordance with the recommendations of the document”. In other words, in practice, the communities will have absolute power to decide whether the situation of the pandemic in their territories makes it advisable to allow the opening of discos.
Time trial changes
Darias and her team have made disappear against the clock in the last hours any mention of the prohibition of the opening of discos and other nightlife venues if the area was not outside the risk levels or on alert 1 and 2, as it appeared in the draft that was delivered to the communities on Monday afternoon to try to temper the crisis, opened minutes before when the Chamber of The Contentious-Administrative Court of the National Court unceremoniously and in a “very cautious” manner overthrew the restrictions of Darias in Madrid at the request of the Executive of Isabel Diaz Ayuso.
The new text does not impose an exhaustive closing time for nightlife on the regional administrations either, as the draft on Monday did, which -despite softening the limitations in bars, terraces and restaurants- insisted that nightclubs had to close at 2 a.m. this summer and, only in exceptional cases, at 3. “The closing hours of these establishments will be at the latest at 02:00, and may be extended depending on the evolution of epidemiological data”, reads the document, which, again, leaves the limitations of these to the discretion of the ministries local.
Of course, the draft proposed by Darias makes no mention of the more controversial restrictions on bars and restaurants, which were already withdrawn from Monday’s text and that caused the ‘rebellion’ of several territories (Madrid, the Basque Country, Castilla y León, Galicia, Murcia, Catalonia, Andalusia or Melilla but also from the Socialists of La Rioja or Castilla-La Mancha), who announced that they were not going to apply the Interterritorial agreement of June 2, even having voted in favor of it, as were the governments of Castilla-La Mancha or La Rioja.
Therefore, There will be no prohibition from the Central Administration of opening the interior of the hotel business in areas with more than 150 cases of accumulated incidence, nor an obligation to stop serving on the terraces at midnight, nor any order to close all bars and restaurants at 1 am. Likewise, it will be up to the regional administrations to establish capacity, limits of diners at the tables or the mandatory distances between tables.