MADRID: Spain has lifted a state of emergency in place since October to fight the pandemic, allowing Spaniards to travel between regions for the first time in months.

“It’s like New Year’s,” said 28-year-old Oriol Corbella in Barcelona, where the lifting of the curfew was met with shouts, applause and music.

“We’re getting a bit of normality back, of freedom, but we have to keep in mind that the virus is still around,” he added.

Although the emergency measure, which expired at midnight (2200 GMT Saturday) will lead to more freedoms, it is a headache for the country’s 17 regional governments responsible for health care.

The state of emergency provided them with a legal framework to impose measures — such as nighttime curfews or a ban on non-essential travel between regions — that limited freedoms. Except for a few days over Christmas when the restrictions were lifted, people have not been able to travel to other regions, go on holiday, or see family.

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