Madrid postpones July gay pride march due to coronavirus
Madrid’s massive annual Gay Pride march, which was scheduled to be held on July 4 this year, has been postponed indefinitely due to the coronavirus pandemic, organisers said Tuesday.
The event will be “postponed due to the exceptional circumstances we are experiencing” since “people’s health and safety is the priority,” the organising committee said in a statement.
The march “will take place when the sanitary and security conditions are adequate and this is guaranteed by health authorities and security forces,” it added.
The Spanish capital’s annual gay pride march is one of the largest in the world, drawing hundreds of thousands of people and dozens of floats.
Madrid and the rest of Spain have been on a lockdown since March 14 to try to curb the spread of coronavirus, with people only allowed out of their homes for essential reasons like buying food and medicine.
Spain has so far lost 2,696 people to the virus, with 60 percent of the deaths in Madrid and the surrounding region.
With nearly 40,000 confirmed cases of the disease, Spain is the second most affected country in Europe by the pandemic after Italy.
With the numbers still spiralling, the Socialist government of Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez on Tuesday sought parliamentary approval to extend the state of emergency for an extra two weeks, until April 11.
His government has come under fire from the right for allowing and encouraging people to participate in a massive Women’s Day march in Madrid on March 8, just a week before the country went into lockdown.
Among those who took part in the march was Sanchez’s wife, Begona Gomez, and Equality Minister Irene Montero, who have both since tested positive for the virus.