As expected, the first full weekend without state of alarm has fired the displacements towards the coasts, the towns and the second residences. After the legal umbrella that has allowed to restrict almost six months trips except within the autonomy, municipality or region, depending on the level of incidence of covid, the Spanish really wanted to enjoy the good temperatures in the field or the beach, of doing tourism or from visit relatives who live further afield and with whom the pandemic has forced an exclusively telematic relationship, however close they may be.
From Friday to Sunday there have been 3.6 million long-distance trips, which is 4% more than in an equivalent weekend in May 2019, before the arrival of the virus. And, according to the data provided by the General Directorate of Traffic (DGT), there have been 37% more road trips than in the same period of the previous week, when the end of the regional perimeter closures came into force on Sunday. Therefore, it was the first full weekend without this restriction.
For this reason, one of the images that the festive period has left have been the kilometer traffic jams, especially in and out of the Madrid’s community, where on the 15th the festival of San Isidro was celebrated. In this autonomy, there has been a 50% increase in trips compared to those registered the previous week. There have also been retentions in coastal towns.
Also, there have been more trips by train and plane. Renfe has actually added 41 new trains to programmed circulations, which has meant reinforcing with 15,413 new places the lines of the main corridors. For example, between Madrid and Barcelona, 9 additional services have been offered, with 3,654 seats.
The Madrid-Seville line has been reinforced with 14 trains and 4,830 seats and the one from Madrid to Malaga, with 10 trains and 3,340 seats, according to information released by Europa Press.
Also, on the occasion of Galician Literature Day This Monday, May 17, Renfe has identified a high demand to return for this day from Madrid, which is why it has reinforced the available trains.
Even so, rail travel has not recovered pre-pandemic levels. Renfe still offer between 40% and 50% of the places that operated before March of 2020 in its commercial services, that is, in AVE and Long Distance. The demand now is about 40,000 daily travelers for this entire network. As announced by the Minister of Public Works, José Luis Ábalos, the recovery of between 70% and 75% of the trips will be achieved in June.
Also, in airports displacement they are recovering, but they are still far from pre-pandemic levels. 7,000 flights have been scheduled from Friday to Sunday, 500 more than the previous weekend. Although, in 2019 only on Sunday and Monday, May 12 and 13, 11,700 were operated. This means that the operation is at 60%, with the aim of rising to 70% next summer with the advancement of vaccination and summer holidays.
From El Prat 850 flights have been operated this weekend, a number similar to last weekend and from Barajas 1,100, an identical figure to that registered from May 7 to 9 of this year. Although the programmed operations are similar, what could have increased is the occupation of flights in order to close the perimeter. Although, AENA does not disseminate the passenger statistics until it collects data for the entire month.