The Canary Islands is now the only region of Spain where dancing is not allowed
Most regions of Spain have now withdrawn all their restrictions on capacity, closing times, and group sizes, and only maintain the national restrictions from the central Government which include the use of masks indoors, and outdoors in crowds where social distancing cannot be maintained.
The Canary Islands Government have eased anti-Covid measures with a gradual de-escalation as focus on how to manage the pandemic has changed, however, fiestas and popular celebrations are still prohibited, even though Easter is around the corner which is the biggest celebration in the Canarian calendar, even bigger than Christmas and New Year.
Capacities and closing times have been extended and almost all activities have returned to ‘normal’, except being allowed to dance. The Ministry of Health claims that dancing, as usually it entails having had a few drinks on a night out, increases the spread of the virus as people are too close to each other, breathing heavily, and ‘exchanging droplets’ in the air.
It is the one rule that is still active in the Canary Islands, which has been lifted in all other areas of Spain, although many insist on masks being worn as you are not sat down when dancing.
Nightlife associations want this rule lifted as soon as possible, saying it doesn’t make sense and is getting harder to enforce, particularly as tourists are coming from other countries where there are no restrictions, and want to enjoy their holidays.
Bar and club owners in main tourist areas say they have no choice but to let people dance, as otherwise, it will cause more problems and even fights, or the clients will leave and go to another venue where they are turning a blind eye.
Nightlife Association 'Canarias de Noche', maintains that in the Canaries dancing is not allowed in any environment except in academies. This ban, together with the time limitation, has prevented the reopening of many discos and nightclubs that had the dance floor as their main feature compared to cocktail bars and fun pubs. “There are many companies in that have not opened because it is not feasible to do so,” they said.
"Paradoxes arise in so much as there could be 50 people in a small restaurant without a mask shouting, drinking, and chatting and we are prohibited from dancing with masks on in closed spaces," explains the association, who asks that dancing with a mask on is at least considered.
The representative of the nightlife sector of FEHT said: “It is even difficult to know when they are breaking the rules. If you are standing next to your chair moving a little bit, are you dancing? It's getting hard to control. People are at a point where the pandemic is over."
On a positive note, they acknowledge that the police seem to be acting fairly with the venues and the holidaymakers, and are leaving them to enjoy their holidays.
As long as the pubs and clubs are not abusing capacities, closing times, and mask rules, and the police aren’t called there for other reasons, for example, noise complaints or a fight, then they are leaving them alone. If called for another reason, they have no option but to impose sanctions for everything.
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