The Madrid region will start relaxing its COVID-19 restrictions this week, officials said on Monday, even as the rest of Spain is toughening up measures to tame a third wave of infection.
From Friday, groups of up to six people will be allowed to gather at outdoor restaurant terraces, up from the current limit of four, while a 22.00 curfew might be pushed to midnight.
"In Madrid, we are doing everything in our power to keep our bars and restaurants and our cultural space open despite political pressure," said conservative regional leader Isabel Diaz Ayuso, who has repeatedly clashed with the left-wing central government on how to tackle the pandemic.
Madrid's 14-day incidence of the virus reached 993 cases per 100,000 people on Friday, slightly above the national average of 887 cases. In the past two weeks, the health department reported over 66,000 new infections, more than any other region.