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Spain is the country among the largest in Europe that is vaccinating the best and, at the same time, with the highest restrictions

Spain has done its homework in the vaccination campaign. With more than 36 million people with the complete guideline, we have the best record among the large European countries. However, if we review the measures to fight the pandemic, we see that Spain continues to maintain strong restrictions in comparison despite having a higher percentage of the population fully vaccinated.

From the use of the mask to the limitations inside the restoration. Each region establishes its own measures to try to reduce the incidence, but this very differentiated strategy is causing that multiple sectors are aggrieved when they look at European neighbors.

Only Portugal surpasses us, but with much less population

Among the most populated European countries, Spain is the one with the highest percentage of fully vaccinated people. With 77.1%, Spain clearly outperforms Germany (63.5%), the United Kingdom (66.9%) or France (64.2%). The situation arises that in the absolute total of vaccinated people, these countries have administered more doses, but because their population is considerably higher.

If we compare ourselves with Italy, we see that the number of fully vaccinated people is not very different (36.2 million people in Spain compared to 40.1 million in Italy), despite the fact that Italy has a population of almost 14 million more people .

Vaccinated Population

Even Belgium, with a much smaller population, lags behind Spain on a percentage level. Only Portugal surpasses us with 83.3% of its vaccinated population. However, this represents 8.58 million vaccinated people, about four times less than Spain.

This leadership in the vaccination campaign led the Minister of Health to boast at the G20 about the Spanish system, indicating that we have the 1st place in vaccination rates among G20 countries. According to a study by Imperial College London, 79% of the Spanish population trusts the benefits of vaccines, clearly surpassing other countries such as France, where that confidence is at 56%.

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What restrictions are our European neighbors applying?

Through the Reopen Europe website it is possible to easily view the different restrictions that we will find in each European country, from the mandatory use of the mask to what can be done in bars and restaurants. Additionally, the different authorities are carrying out a strong communication campaign to keep the population well informed about the latest measures. Nails measures that are adapted every few weeks depending on how the epidemiological situation in each area is progressing.

Before reviewing the different restrictions, it is important to remember that in countries like Spain, it is the autonomous communities that have competences to apply certain measures. This turns out that what is mandatory or prohibited in one region is not the same in another of the same country. A similar case also occurs in Belgium, Italy or Germany, where their capitals impose different restrictions on other municipalities.

Possibly the most visual measure is the mandatory nature of the mask. Until the end of June it was mandatory in Spain outdoors, but now it is only a recommendation for use. In this sense, we are at a similar level to the rest of European countries, since none of them obliges us to use the mask outdoors, except for Italy in the “yellow” areas of high incidence.

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The obligation to use the mask is maintained when the safety distance cannot be met, indoors and on public transport. Here Spain is in a Similar level to the rest of neighboring countries, except the United Kingdom or Sweden, where there is no obligation or indoors. An intermediate case would be France, where in the places where a Covid passport is requested, the obligation is also eliminated, despite the fact that each authority configures this in its own way.

In terms of mobility and the ability to meet other people, most European countries put a maximum limit on the number of people. We see this for example in football stadiums. In Spain, despite the fact that there is a lot of soccer tradition, the stadiums are limited to 60% in a generic way (which may be lower depending on the community). In the meantime, in the UK, the Netherlands or France the stadiums may be full. The Spanish position is more similar to that of countries such as Italy, Germany or Portugal.

More striking compared to the rest of the countries is the measure that some autonomous communities in Spain maintain and that has become only a recommendation in other communities in recent weeks. We refer to the meeting limit. Berlin has a limit of 100 people outdoors and France requires applying for the Covid Passport at events of more than 50 people; countries like Belgium, Sweden or the Netherlands put the limit at 400, 600 and 750 people respectively. These figures contrast enormously with the limit of 10 people in Galicia, 10 in Murcia or 10 in Extremadura, which until a few days ago was 6 people. Some autonomous communities maintain a meeting limit that is notably more restrictive than the limits we see in Europe.

Mandatory use of the mask

Private meetings and events

Catering and leisure

Germany

In public and interior transport.

Up to 100 people outdoors (Berlin).

Stadiums up to 50% with 25,000 people.

Covid passport for interiors.

Nightlife without mask for vaccinated.

United Kingdom

Without obligation, but recommended.

Stadiums at maximum capacity.

No Covid passport.

Nightlife open.

France

In public transport and interiors, except places where a Covid passport is requested.

Covid passport for events of more than 50 people.
Stadiums at maximum capacity.

Covid passport for restoration, including terrace.

Italy

In public and interior transport.

Outdoors in high incidence areas.

Stadiums up to 50%.

Covid passport for interiors.

Maximum groups of 6 people indoors.

Spain

In public and interior transport.

Communities with a maximum of meeting people.
Stadiums up to 60%.

Indoor group limitation.
Nightlife with limitations.

Poland

In public and interior transport.

Stadiums up to 25%.

Indoor group limitation

Nightlife maximum 150 people.

Holland

In public and interior transport.

Up to 750 people outdoors.

Stadiums at maximum capacity.

Nightlife with limitations.

Portugal

In public and interior transport.

Stadiums up to 33%.

Covid passport for indoors on weekends and holidays.

Indoor group limitation.

Belgium

In public and interior transport.

Up to 400 people outdoors (Brussels).

Covid passport for events of more than 1,500 people.

Nightlife open from October 1.

Sweden

Without obligation, but recommended.

Up to 600 people outdoors.

Indoor group limitation.

Catering and nightlife is another sector affected by the restrictions. The limitation of hours is still present and Spain maintains limited capacity and more establishments closed than most of our neighbors. One of the differences that we can find with nearby countries such as France or Portugal is that the obligatory nature of the Covid Passport has been accompanied by fewer restrictions on restoration.

In the case of Portugal, the passport is requested on Fridays, weekends and holidays for restaurant meals. As for nightlife, it is still closed and will do so at least until October. However, the representatives of the bar and nightclub associations recall that it was said that when 85% of the percentage of vaccinated was reached, nightlife could be reopened. And in the vaccination race, Portugal is the one with the best percentages.

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In Germany, the Covid Passport has allowed nightlife to reopen, only for those vaccinated. Interestingly, they are also allowed in without a mask. Countries such as Belgium were in a situation similar to that of the Netherlands and Spain, but it is already confirmed that from October 1 the clubs will reopen. Another situation is that of the United Kingdom, where since ‘Freedom Day’ most of the restrictions have been lifted. In Poland, with a vaccination rate of 50.8%, discos and nightlife are open but with an occupancy of no more than 150 people.

SalasSalas

The State Association of Concert Halls has intensified its campaign for the reopening of nightlife, based on a study by Live DMA, the equivalent association at the European level.

According to the State Association of Live Music Venues (ACCES), Spain maintains its concert halls with the greatest restrictions, due to the use of the mask, the safety distance, the limited capacity and the hours, being the usual thing in the rest of the countries that only some of these measures are applied and not all four. In the case of the Netherlands, a country that also keeps nightlife closed after the controversy with an outbreak at a music festival, November is the estimated date when nightclubs could reopen.

Ahead in vaccination, but more conservative in the reopening

Spain offers one of the best vaccination numbers, but it is also one of the countries with the most restrictions. Compared with Germany, the meeting limit is stricter in many communities and access to restaurants and leisure is more reduced, mainly because the need to show the Covid Passport has been established there. Something similar happens in Portugal or France, where the Passport has allowed, for example, that the stadiums are at maximum capacity.

Another situation is clearly the United Kingdom, where most of the restrictions disappeared before the summer. Also in Sweden, where the mask is not mandatory even indoors on a widespread basis. Italy is usually a good reflection of Spain, although its economy is recovering to a higher level.

Countries with a similar level like Belgium They have set a date for major changes for the reopening; a step in the reopening process that in Spain is taking place gradually through the communities. Ahead, Sweden has already announced that it will remove most of the restrictions next month. We will see if, as the German Health Minister believes, the pandemic will be over by spring.

Imagen | Tim Mossholder