Spanish capital Madrid positioned underneath partial lockdown | Spain
Since Friday evening, around 4.8 million Madrid residents are no longer allowed to leave the city. This makes it the first European capital to be closed again due to the increasing cases of corona viruses.
Restaurants and bars in the Spanish capital and nine satellite cities closed early and reduced capacity by half of what is once again Europe’s worst infection hotspot.
The new restrictions, which began at 10:00 p.m. (8:00 p.m. GMT), are not as severe as the previous lockdown in March when people were prevented from leaving their homes. However, authorities advised residents not to move unless clearly necessary.
“Madrilenos” were angry about the political clashes between the central and regional governments and concerned about whether the measures would work.
“We have been in masks for eight months and have no nightclubs or parties and there is still contagion. What impact will these restrictions then have? “Sonny van den Holstein, owner of the Sanissimo restaurant, told Reuters.
“People are confused, they hesitate to go out … they are scared,” he said when a customer called to cancel a reservation.
The conservatively led authority of the Madrid area reluctantly followed orders from the socialist led central government to ban travel other than school, work, health or shopping.
Madrid’s bars and restaurants are famous for their nightly carousels and the usually lively stream of tourists. They must close at 11:00 PM (9:00 PM GMT) instead of 1:00 AM (11:00 PM GMT) while restaurants, gyms and shops are halving their capacities.
Gatherings of more than six people indoors and outdoors are prohibited, but parks and playgrounds can remain open this time.
The measures extend an already existing restriction in poorer parts of the city with high infection rates. People who do not comply will be fined.
Other busy European cities have tightened measures in the past few days, including limiting numbers in restaurants and making face masks mandatory in multiple locations.
But no one went as far as Madrid. The new block lasts at least 14 days and can be extended if necessary.
The conservative regional leader Isabel Diaz Ayuso has initiated a legal challenge in which she fears economic damage and accuses the central government of having exceeded its mandate by ordering the measures.
Since Madrid’s Barajas international airport remains open, Diaz Ayuso tweeted her anger about the Prime Minister: “From tomorrow you can come from Berlin to Madrid, but not from Parla. Thanks for the mess, Pedro Sanchez. “
Parla is a peripheral city south of Madrid.
In its appeal, the region argues that the measures do not adequately combat the pandemic and would cost the local economy € 750 million per week.
But Sanchez said the only goal is to save lives and protect health. “All decisions are made according to the criteria of the scientists,” he said at a summit in Brussels.
According to the World Health Organization, the Madrid region has the worst infection rate in Europe with 850 cases per 100,000 people.
Spain recorded a total of 789,932 coronavirus cases on Friday, up from 11,325 since Thursday. There were 32,086 deaths. Daily deaths are now at their highest level since early May, but well below the late March record of nearly 900.