The decision was announced on Friday by Minister of Health Salvador Illa. Bars and restaurants have also been slapped with a new curfew.
All venues must close by 1am as part of the new crackdown on COVID-19 outbreaks, and tough fines will be issued to those caught organising street parties, or parties in beaches or parks.
The health minister said nightlife wasn’t the main course of coronavirus outbreaks but where they did happen, more people were being affected and it was a very difficult task for tracking teams to find all contacts who might have been put at risk.
In addition to the new 1am curfew, restaurants and bars will not be allowed to admit any new customers after midnight.
Spain: Bars, clubs and discos have been ordered to close
Spain: Restaurants must now close by 1am
Hotels, restaurants, terrace, and beach bars must ensure there is a distance of one and a half metres between tables, with a maximum of ten people per group.
Salvador Illa said the decisions has been taken “unanimously” by representatives of the autonomous regions throughout Spain.
“There has been a growing number of outbreaks in recent weeks,” the minister explained at a press conference.
“I am announcing that, for the first time, we have decided to adopt coordinated actions in terms of public health and that these measures have been adopted unanimously.”
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He said it was the first time in democracy that all the regions had got together to decide on a joint plan of action given the seriousness of the situation.
Infection rates in Spain are higher than at the height of the pandemic in April. New positives are being recorded at nearly 3,000 a day.
Despite the growing rates though, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is not urging Britons still in the country to rush home.
The FCO states: “From 27 July, the FCO advise against all non-essential travel to Spain, including the Balearic and Canary Islands, based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks in the country.
“The FCO is not advising those already travelling in Spain to leave at this time. Travellers should follow the advice of the local authorities on how best to protect themselves and others, including any measures that they bring in to control the virus.”
Spain: Clubs and discos are now shut across the nation
Nightlife has become one of the main concerns of the health authorities trying to control the pandemic. In Las Palmas in Gran Canaria, for example, 60 new cases were linked to two nightclubs this week.
President of Spain at Night, Ramón Mas said the sector is likely to challenge the order in court.
He said it was a “total aberration” which had been taken “without speaking” with the leisure employers or businessmen and without offering any rescue or aid plan.
“You cannot close a strategic sector of this country in this way, without explaining it to businessmen, without planning its future, without having agreed on absolutely nothing,” he said.
The impact of COVID-19 on tourism
The nightlife sector is also demanding that the autonomous communities “each make an economic rescue plan” for discos, cocktail bars and dance halls, and the same will be requested from the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism.
He said 60 percent of the companies in the sector had not opened since March and those that had raised their blinds had done so in “very bad” conditions and with capacity limitations.
“Make our companies disappear, this is what this Government and the autonomous communities are doing,” he said.
Nightlife Spain says 70 percent of companies in Spain were going to disappear in the “greatest economic crisis” the country had ever experienced.
Additional reporting by Rita Sobot