Life & Leisure

Long weekends with no travel: Madrid’s new normal

Madrid, Mar 19 (efe-epa).- Madrid on Friday was celebrating another long weekend marked by the pandemic, with city residents’  traditional travel plans for St Joseph’ day — much like the past year’s holidays of All Saints, Christmas and Constitution Day — all cancelled because of coronavirus restrictions.

The Community of Madrid has again been sealed off by the central government to slow the spread of Covid-19, despite fierce opposition from regional authorities.

Restrictions on travel on public holidays are becoming just one more ingredient of the so-called ‘new normality’, and Madridians are doing their best to take advantage of what the Community offers.

Early on Friday morning, there was activity at the central Atocha train station, but nowhere near normal levels for the start of a three-day weekend.

“I notice considerably fewer people than, for example, last weekend, and Madrid is obviously emptier,” says Sonia, who travels home to Toledo every week from her job in the capital city.

Police officers have been deployed to check that passengers are only traveling if they are residents or for professional or other essential reasons.

Sonia points out that, although she believes the travel restrictions are effective, “they are starting to let foreigners in”.

People are barred from traveling to Madrid from neighboring Castillas but they can fly in from most countries in the world, and the reflection of this ironic situation is given in Barajas, where the few travelers are mainly foreigners. EFE-EPA


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