With the COVID crisis driving politicians to implement escalating restrictions on everyday life, enterprising young Maños in Zaragoza have taken to renting empty holiday apartments so they can socialize in relative peace. The trend has been met with a wave of concern regarding risks of contagion.
In some cases the events develop into parties that are reported by neighbours but it is believed the vast majority pass without discovery as quiet gatherings. This activity was observed in late September and through into early October as the cancelled Pilares festival saw young people turning to alternatives to gather together off the streets. It was reported in local media that police surveillance operations uncovered celebrations in rented apartments. One such reported event had 19 people in a tourist apartment charged for not maintaining social distance or wearing a mask.
The Heraldo Newspaper spoke to Apartamentos Zaragoza in the Coso who could confirm that such gatherings are now occurring regularly at weekends. If the number of guests does not exceed six people and they do not make any noise that disturbs neighbours there is little that can be done, confirmed Pepe Juste, the director of the business.
The Casco has also seen a proliferation of such activity, with some parties playing loud music and dancing spilling out onto balconies.
2020 has seen a virtual total destruction of any tourist business, hotels have effectively closed their doors and rental apartments sit empty. There has been a limited amount of business from workers from out of town who have opted to rent a short term location within the city and an increase in couples looking for privacy.