Spain: how to deal with partying youths?

The number of Covid-19 cases is rising sharply again in many areas in Spain. Health authorities have attributed half of the new infections to family celebrations and parties. The head of the coronavirus management team, Fernando Simón, has warned the country's youth: "You are endangering not only yourselves but the entire country." Commentators warn politicians against responding with more bans.

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La Vanguardia (ES) /

The wrong message via the wrong channels

The threat of fines won't work with this target group, La Vanguardia points out:

“Many young people no longer inform themselves through conventional channels - newspapers or news broadcasts on radio and television. ... So if you want to get the message through to them, you have to resort to the channels used by adolescents and the young: social networks. Instagram, YouTube and Facebook can be ideal for this purpose. Campaigns targeting young people must be launched on well-chosen networks and must speak their language. They must send a positive message about the importance of the protective measures, rather than a negative one that focuses solely on fines and bans.”

El Confidencial (ES) /

You can't ban what is already banned

Instead of inventing new bans the government could try enforcing existing regulations, El Confidencial puts in:

“Spain is probably the country that legislates most, but whose laws are least respected. So we have two opposite poles which here, however, reinforce each other instead of counteracting each other. Does the large number of laws lead to a culture of disregard for them, or is it the other way round? ... The binge drinking on the streets is a wonderful example of this double vice. These days the media have consistently been reporting that this or that region has decided to ban such drinking in a bid to stop the spread of the virus. ... Yet it turns out that such laws have been in place for years. How do you ban what is already forbidden?”