Thanks to rapidly declining numbers of cases (the lowest rates in 9 months) and the increasingly successful vaccine rollout in Spain, the restrictions have been eased considerably.
I’ve been learning Spanish at AIL Madrid for a few months now and the COVID-19 protocols around the school have been and continue to be strictly enforced and observed. We all know and understand that they’re for our own good, and the good of others, so nobody among the many international students at the school has any complaint about wearing face masks in and around the school, or observing the social distancing rules that apply in classrooms or any of the other safety measures that have been put in place. And I want to emphasise that none of this has stopped us from having bags of fun and making lots of friends; or, most importantly, getting a really good education in the Spanish language and culture.
But the news that the night-time curfew and national travel restrictions have been lifted, and that restaurants, bars and cafes are all open from 6am to 1am has come as a very welcome relief to us all! Also, nearly all of the cultural venues such as Madrid’s amazing museums, art galleries, sports facilities, theatres, cinemas, and shopping centres are opening up again too.
Frankly, I can’t wait to get out and about again. Yes, we still have to wear facemasks in public places, and continue to observe social distancing, but it really feels like a weight has been lifted off my mind. For starters, I can’t wait to get back into the cinema at a normal time again. I’ve really missed going to the cinema in the evening, as watching films on TV just isn’t the same as the real deal. When I was at home, preparing for my Spanish trip to Madrid, I watched a lot of films in Spanish and found this a really helpful way to pick up natural, everyday language. I’m also really looking forward to visiting the Prado (or Museo Nacional del Prado to give it its full Spanish name). The incredible range of things to do and places to see was one of the big draws for me when I chose Madrid as the best place for me to come to learn Spanish. That, and AIL Madrid’s great reputation as the best Spanish school in the world.
AIL Madrid is located in the Salamanca district in Madrid’s so called ‘golden mile’, slap bang in the heart of the city. In the district, we’re practically tripping over ourselves for the number of boutique fashion shops, excellent restaurants, fancy bars, and cafes. Not to mention some of Madrid’s finest cultural landmarks. There’s the famous National Archaeological Museum, with its great collection of historical artefacts from all around Spain and the world. And then there’s the Lázaro Galdiano Museum, also of high repute. Oh, and I nearly forgot to mention the amazing food markets of La Paz and Platea. And the best news of all is that it’s all opening up again.
I guess, what I’m really looking forward to most is sitting in a bar at night downing a couple of beers with my friends and then hitting the discos again. It feels like a lifetime ago that I was able to do normal everyday things like that without strict curfews. And now that Madrid is easing its COVID restrictions, we can all start to feel some sense of normality returning to our lives. What a relief!