Spanish authorities declares state of emergency within the Madrid area

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Spanish Health Minister Salvador Illa announced at a press conference on Friday that the government had declared a state of emergency in the Madrid region for 15 days.

The ruling follows a court ruling that a week ago repealed a government ordinance that introduced new restrictions on coronavirus in the capital.

The state of emergency will ensure that these measures remain in place. “The situation is the same as yesterday, only the legal form is different,” said Illa.

Here are some of the measures that apply to nine municipalities in the Madrid region that include mobility and trade restrictions:

  • People will not be able to leave their cities or neighborhoods except to go to work, school, the doctor and some other exceptions.
  • Restaurants, shops, theaters and other facilities are limited to 50% of their capacity and restaurants and bars must close their doors at 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. local time.
  • Meetings with a maximum of 6 people are allowed.

The state of emergency declaration came at the start of a bank holiday weekend that would normally be more than a million Madrid residents leaving the area, but Illa said authorities don’t want them to potentially spread the virus anywhere else in Spain.

The Spanish Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska announced the “deployment of national police and civil guards to ensure that the announced measures are followed. More than 7,000 police officers and civil guards are immediately deployed and checkpoints set up the affected communities. ”

You can impose fines for non-compliance, he added.

The state of alert lifts the measures announced today by the Madrid regional government. Enrique Ruiz Escudero, regional health chief, said at a news conference Friday morning that the region will continue with basic health zones and only isolate the areas and neighborhoods with 750 cases per 100,000 people over a 14-day period.

Illa accused the Madrid regional government of “doing nothing”. He said that transmission rates in Madrid are “very high” and that hospitals are “at risk of being overwhelmed”. “There is a limit to patience, there is no one who is more blind than someone who does not want to see. It is important that the level of contagion in Madrid does not spread to the rest of the country, ”he added.

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