21st September 2021
Plaza de Sant Jaume in central Barcelona
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Restrictions in Spain for Christmas and New Year period

Latest: Coronavirus in Spain figures (12 Jan)

Report updated in Spain at 20h on Thurs 7 Jan

On Wednesday 2 December, following a meeting of Spain’s Inter-Territorial Council of the National Health System between the central health ministry and regional health authorities, an ‘agreement’ was reached regarding Covid-19 restrictions for the Christmas and New Year period. However, there was not unanimous support for the plan at the time – with Madrid voting against, and Catalonia also stating that it does not feel bound by the plan. Some regions said they would go even further with the restrictions. The central government insisted that the key measures should be adhered to, although it was not made clear how they would be enforced. Full details (in Spanish) of the original measures agreed can be found here (and summarised in English below).

Since 2 December, and due to the day-to-day evolution of Coronavirus figures, most regions of Spain have announced some different measures to those originally agreed. The hours of the nighttime curfew also differ in many regions. Below, we first summarise (1) the key measures agreed on 2 December. We then also list (2) measures that have officially changed for a region, but only if those changes relate to the Christmas and New Year period. For general details about the on-going restrictions per region, please also refer to our separate report: Details of curfews & restrictions for all regions of Spain during ‘State of Alarm’We are doing our best to keep up with each region’s announcements, but it might be that we miss some. Please add comments below, if you wish (your information might help other readers) and we will also check. Thank you for reading, stay safe, and if you can, please support Spain in English with a donation!

1. Original measures agreed on 2 December

The main restrictions agreed following the meeting on 2 December are as follows:

  1. Between 23 December and 6 January, movement from one region to another across Spain is prohibited, except for trips already permitted under the terms of the current State of Alarm, and except to visit the ‘places of habitual residence of relatives or close friends’. Health Minister Salvador Illa referred to ‘close friends’ (allegados) as being people with whom ‘strong bonds of affection’ exist, while announcing the new measures. However, depending on the evolution of the epidemiological situation, regional authorities may also establish that trips are only permitted on certain days. These measures were originally not applicable to the Canary Islands or the Balearic Islands. Trips across Spain are still prohibited for tourism or leisure pursuits, including trips to second homes in other regions. Movement within regions and provinces will continue to be decided by the regional governments. 
  2. Regarding social gatherings with family, relatives or close friends to celebrate Christmas lunches and dinners on 24, 25, 31 December and 1 January, it was agreed that the maximum number of 10 people should not be exceeded, except in the case of cohabitants. In any case, it was recommended that they belong to the same co-existence group (or ‘bubble’). In addition, special caution and care must be taken with people in vulnerable situations.
  3. Elderly relatives can leave care homes to spend Christmas with their families, although it is recommended that they only stay at one address and stick to a ‘stable household bubble’. A Covid-19 test on their return to the care home is also recommended.
  4. Regarding nighttime curfews on the nights of Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, the regional authorities can determine the start time of the curfew, but it must be at the latest 1.30am ‘and only in order to return home’. The agreement emphasises that in no case will these extended hours be used to go on to other social gatherings, ‘nor to move from one social event to another’.
  5. Regarding all Christmas and New Year events organised between 23 December and 6 January, organisers must comply with all measures in place at the time within their region, adhering to restrictions on capacity, hours of opening, and maintaining social distancing, hygiene and ventilation measures. At all times it is encouraged to use outdoor spaces as opposed to indoor.
  6. ‘Static parades’ for the Three Kings celebrations are recommended, and in places where access can be controlled, with all social distancing measures in place, in accordance with measures stipulated for each region.
  7. Major sporting events cannot be held. Traditional Christmas activities that are held in cinemas, theatres, auditoriums, circus tents or similar, must only be held respecting the capacity limits stipulated in the region, province, town or city. Whenever possible, activities should be held outdoors and always ensuring social distancing to minimise contact between the attendees.
  8. Religious ceremonies in closed spaces must follow the capacity limits established in each region and city. Choirs and singing is discouraged, with the use of pre-recorded music instead. Likewise, ‘physical displays of devotion or tradition (kisses, contact on images, sculptures)’ should be avoided, replacing them with others that do not involve a health risk. 
  9. The government has also reiterated the on-going ‘6M’ prevention measures of using face masks, regular washing of hands, social distancing, ventilation of indoor spaces, staying outside where possible, self-isolating in case of symptoms, as well as avoiding social contact outside known ‘bubble’ groups as much as possible.
  10. All other measures and restrictions already in place in each region will apply. Also read: Details of curfews & restrictions for all regions of Spain during ‘State of Alarm’

Plaza de Sant Jaume in central Barcelona
People walking past the Christmas tree in the Plaza de Sant Jaume in central Barcelona. (Laura Guerrero).

2.  Other specific measures for Christmas and New Year period per region

Andalusia

  • Between 18 December and 10 January, mobility between provinces is allowed.
  • Travel to and from other regions is banned until at least 10 January, except between 23 December and 6 January when it is allowed for people to enter the region for the purposes of visiting family – but the term allegados (close friends) is not included.
  • Nighttime curfew on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve is from 1.30am.
  • Social gatherings are limited to six people except on 24, 25, 31 December and 1 January when 10 people are allowed.

Aragón

  • Regional border remains closed except between 23-26 December and 30 December to 2 January, for people to visit family. The term allegados (close friends) is not included.
  • Travel between the provinces of Aragón is not allowed until 21 December.
  • Curfew from 11pm until 6am except on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve when it is delayed until 1.30am.
  • Social gatherings are limited to six people except on 24, 25, 31 December and 1 January when 10 people are allowed.

Asturias

  • Travel in and out of the region is banned except between 23 December and 1 January – for visiting family and close friends.
  • On on 24, 25, 31 December, 1 and 6 January, social gatherings of 10 people are allowed as long as they represent no more than two households. All other gatherings must be capped at six people.

Balearic Islands

  • Mallorca currently is at a ‘level four’ meaning a maximum of six people at social gatherings from only two households, over all dates.
  • In Mallorca the nighttime curfew runs from 10pm until 6am. For Ibiza, Menorca and Formentera – it starts at midnight and ends at 6am except on Christmas and New Year’s Eve when it is delayed until 1.30am.
  • Social gatherings are capped across the islands to six people inside (except Formentera which allows ten) but on all those except Mallorca, the limit increases to ten people on 24, 25, 31 December and 1 and 6 January.
  • Travellers from mainland Spain to the Balearic Islands are now required to provide a negative PCR test on arrival at the airport.

Basque Country

  • The ban on travel in and out of the Basque Country is lifted from 23-26 December and from 30 December to 2 January for those visiting family and close friends. Those doing so have to complete a justification form required by regional authorities HERE
  • Social gatherings are limited to six except on 24, 25 and 31 December and 1 January when 10 are allowed from a maximum of two households.
  • Nighttime curfew moved from 10pm to 1.30 on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.

Canary Islands

  • Across all the Canary Islands, a curfew will be in place between 23 December and 6 January from 1am to 6am with the exception of Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, when it starts at 1.30am.

Cantabria

  • Region closed since 4 November but visits to family and close friends can take place between 23 December and 6 January.
  • The limit on the number of people allowed to meet is increased from six to 10 on both Christmas and New Year’s Eve as well as Christmas Day and and New Year’s Day.
  • Nighttime curfew is from 10pm until 6am except on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve when it is from 1.30am.

Castilla y Leon

  • Region closed until at least 10 January with exceptions for travel to visit family (but not close friends) between 23-26 December, 30 December to 2 January, and 5-6 January.
  • Nighttime curfew is from 10pm until 6am except on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve when it is delayed from 1.30am.
  • The number of people allowed to meet moves from six to 10 people on 24, 25, 31 December and 1 January but groups should be limited to a maximum of two households.

Castilla La Mancha

  • Border remains closed except for visits to family and friends between 23 December and 6 January.
  • The number of people allowed to meet moves from six to 10 on 24, 25, 31 December and 1 January but groups should be within the same household or a maximum of two.
  • Nighttime curfew is from midnight until 6am except on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve and 5 January when it is delayed until 1.30am.

Catalonia

Extremadura

  • Social gatherings are limited to six in private homes (ten in restaurants) except on 24, 25 and 31 December and 1 January when 10 are allowed from a maximum of two households.
  • Nighttime curfew delayed from midnight to 1.30am on the nights of 24 and 31 December.

Galicia

  • Social gatherings are still limited to six (even over Christmas), although children under ten are not included in this number.
  • Nighttime curfew moved from 11pm to 1.30am on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.

Madrid

  • Madrid has announced that it will not extend the limit allowed for social gatherings to ten people and that groups should remain capped at six from a maximum of two households.
  • Between 23 December and 6 January people can visiting family or close friends in the region.
  • Nighttime curfew moved from midnight to 1.30am on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.

Murcia

  • Travel in and out of the region lifted between 23-26 December and 30 December to 2 January for those visiting family and close friends.
  • Social gatherings moved from up to six to 10 people, from a maximum of two households.
  • Nighttime curfew moved from 11pm until 1.30am on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.

Navarra

  • Travel in and out of the region lifted between 23-26 December and 30 December to 2 January for those visiting family and close friends.
  • Social gatherings limited to six except on 24, 25, 31 December and 1 January when 10 are allowed from a maximum of two households.
  • Nighttime curfew moved from 11pm until 1.30am on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.

La Rioja

  • Travel in and out of the region is lifted between 23-26 December and 30 December to 2 January for those visiting family and close friends.
  • Social gatherings are limited to six except on 24, 25, 31 December and 1 January when 10 are allowed from a maximum of two households.
  • Nighttime curfew moved from 11pm until 1.30am on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.

Valencia

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1 comment

Elisabeth Baxter 1st January 2021 at 9:53 pm

Thank you for this information. I am still confused as to whether my son who lives in Barcelona can visit me near Granada at my home during all or part of this period. Can you help please?

Reply

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