The first full day of new coronavirus restrictions in Madrid looked at first glance like business as usual on the city’s famed shopping avenue Gran Vía.
But with the advent of a 50% capacity limit on shops, bars and restaurants, a familiar sight had returned on a chilly Saturday afternoon. Reminiscent of a few months ago when Spain was just emerging from a strict lockdown, a line of shoppers snaked outside retailer Zara ITX, +1.25% and an even bigger one stretched down the street in front of the Primark ABF, +1.91% store.
And even though masks are worn everywhere and all the time now, that 1.5-meter social-distancing measure appears long gone, at a time when Madrid seems to need it most of all.
One has to wonder if this is what warring Spanish politicians had in mind with new rules that kicked in last Friday evening, as the more than 6 million residents of the Madrid region find themselves once again at the epicenter of a major European coronavirus outbreak.