French tourists flee to Madrid

When a possible third lock hovers in the air in France, several thousand French people have fled to Madrid to enjoy restaurants, museums, cinemas and theaters and found refuge in one of the last European cities spared severe Covid-19 restrictions. FRANCE 24’s Jean-Emile Jammine, Laura Cambaud, Maxime Rousseau and Kilian Le Bouquin report from the Spanish capital.

“It’s liberating to be in a restaurant, it’s really a pleasure to be on the terrace just to have a drink,” says a French visitor sitting outside a bar in Madrid. “That was one of the factors when we chose our destination, because we knew the restaurants are open.”

Thousands of other French people have made the same choice. Museums, cinemas and theaters remain open in the Spanish capital and the curfew does not kick in until 22.00, compared to 18.00 in France.

The French are now this year’s first foreign tourists to visit the city’s Reina Sofia Museum – restrictions bought by the pandemic have disrupted the usual balance of nationalities traveling to Madrid.

However, the health situation in Madrid continues to decline, with a coronavirus infection rate almost four times higher than in Paris.

To see the report in its entirety, click on the player above.