Home Covid-19 El Rastro, Madrid's famous flea market, reopens

El Rastro, Madrid’s famous flea market, reopens

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MADRID (AP) – An old and iconic Madrid flea market reopened on Sunday after a controversial eight-month shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While many markets on wheels remain closed in Europe, the reopening of the Rastro seems to be another example of the Spanish capital’s commitment to show that the strong restrictions due to the coronavirus may not be necessary while some precautions are taken, although infections have increased.

That stance has been both criticized and praised.

After lengthy negotiations, the city authorities agreed that the Rastro could open at 50% of its capacity, and half of its 1,000 stalls will rotate every Sunday to receive a maximum of 2,700 people.

Supported by drones, the police will monitor the market to avoid overcrowding.

Dating back to the 1700s, El Rastro sells the usual mix of antique markets: clothing, furniture, trinkets and curios at stalls that wind their way through a burrow-like neighborhood next to Madrid’s majestic Plaza Mayor.

A traditional gathering and drinking spot, the bustling Sunday market tends to attract thousands of tourists and locals alike. Before the pandemic, if you arrived after 11 a.m., it was almost impossible to move.

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Spain has been one of the European countries most affected by the virus, registering more than 1.5 million cases and more than 42,500 deaths.







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