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Despite a recent surge in infections and fears that the festive period could propel Spain into a third wave of the coronavirus, 5,000 people attended a concert in Madrid on Saturday night by the singer Raphael.
The concert, marking his 60 years in showbusiness, was held at the WiZink Center in the capital.
It came a day after the health minister called for “maximum prudence”, adding: “We could be at the beginning of a third wave if we don’t take the appropriate measures.”
Amid heavy criticism on social media, the concert’s organiser said the event had been carefully planned and complied fully with the Madrid region’s health guidelines.
In a tweet, it pointed out that access was staggered, that masks and gel were being used, that the air was changed every 12 minutes, and that people’s temperatures were taken.
Under the current rules, concert venues must operate at 40% capacity. Organisers said the WiZink Center was operating at 30% of its total capacity of 17,000 spectators.
Raphael is due to give another concert at the same venue on Sunday night.
In two tweets on Saturday, the singer wrote: “Finally the day of my new show has come … I will dedicate to you all the songs that have accompanied us over the course of our first 60 years together. I want to hug each and everyone of you with the music that has always brought us together. I love you to death!”
The Madrid regional government, which is allowing bars and restaurants to remain open over Christmas and the new year, said on Friday it had taken the “very painful” decision to limit private festive gatherings to six people.
The first round of Spain’s vaccination programme – for health workers, staff and residents of care homes, and those with severe health problems – is due to begin on 27 December.
To date, Spain has recorded 1,797,236 cases of the virus and 48,926 deaths.
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: As Spain faces third wave of Covid singer plays to 5,000-strong audience | Spain