Bullfighting matches resumed with fans in Madrid on Sunday, for the first time since the start of the pandemic, with several thousand spectators allowed to enter Las Ventas Circuit in the Spanish capital.
The regional authorities have allowed the establishment of the event, which will direct its profits to help the bullfighting activity, which, like all activities that depend on the presence of the masses, has been hit hard by the closures and restrictions caused by the Corona virus.
Regional authorities have set the attendance rate at 40% of the ring’s capacity, in the first bullfighting in Madrid in more than a year, which means that up to 6,000 fans can attend.
Certain seats were allocated for fans, who were also required to wear masks throughout their stay.
The matches included the best bullfights, Enrique Pons, and Julian “El Jolie” Lopez.
Bullfighting matches resumed in the Andalusia region in southern Spain last summer, with an attendance rate of 50% of the capacity of the stadium, after a complete closure of the country during the worst months of the pandemic.
But the timing of the resumption of bullfighting in Madrid also has political reasons. Besides it resumes during a holiday there, it coincides with the last day of the official campaign for the Madrid regional legislative elections.
The leader of the region, Isabel Diaz Ayuso, from the conservatives, ran for re-selection in early elections that called for her in an effort to strengthen her authority in the regional legislature. For Diaz Ayuso, the election is a referendum on its rejection of the tougher restrictions imposed or recommended by the left-wing central government in Spain to curb the spread of the Corona virus.
While the national health authorities did not intervene to stop the bullfighting, they have repeatedly called on provinces not to risk a major outbreak by permitting large-scale events. Football matches in Spain are still being played in the absence of fans.
And the Spanish Ministry of Health indicated on Friday that Madrid has the second highest infection rate within the regions of Spain, with 384 cases per 100,000 residents, over a period of 14 days.
Diaz Ayuso defended her decision by recalling the main slogan of her campaign, “Freedom”. “Where there is bullfighting, there is freedom,” she said last month.