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The Spanish government imposes a general confinement on the whole city of Madrid




The entire city of Madrid will now be confined (photo: B. Luis).
The entire city of Madrid will now be confined (photo: B. Luis).
SPAIN. The confinement will now affect the three million inhabitants of Madrid and nine municipalities on its outskirts (Fuenlabrada, Parla, Alcobendas, Torrejón de Ardoz, Getafe, Alcorcón, Leganés, Móstoles and Alcalá de Henares). The decision had been debated for several days between the regional government and the Spanish State, but it was decided on Wednesday 30 September 2020. On Thursday 1 October 2020, the Spanish Minister of Health, Salvador Illa, published a decree in the Official Gazette to this effect.

Some areas of Madrid and neighbouring cities have been closed off in stages. Salvador Illa stated the need to include the entire Spanish capital in the restrictions, but six of the nineteen autonomous regions - including Madrid - which have sole responsibility for health, still refuse to accept the government's plan, which provides for the partial or complete closure of the cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants most affected by the pandemic. The plan foresees a partial or complete blockade of the cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants most affected by the pandemic, i.e. more than 500 cases per 100,000 people, more than 10% of the tests carried out in the fortnight before 27 September being positive, and a proportion of intensive care beds occupied at 35% or more by Covid patients.

Today, Madrid has a rate of 777.7 cases of Covidés per 100,000 inhabitants and peripheral cities such as Fuenlabrada (1168.3 per 100,000) and Parla (1155.8) are well above this figure.

48 hours to apply the decree

According to Enrique Ruiz, Madrid's regional health manager, the decree is "not legally valid". However, Salvador Illa said he did not "envisage" that the Madrid region might not apply them. Isabel Diaz Ayuzo was reassuring: "this government is not in revolt and will strictly obey all orders". The President of the Madrid Parliament added, however, that her administration will take legal action "to defend the legitimate interests of the people of Madrid". She now has 48 hours to implement the government decree.

Madrid residents will no longer be able to leave their city except to go to work, to go to the doctor or to take their children to school. However, they will have the right to move freely within their neighbourhood. Local restaurants and hotels will have to cap their occupancy rate at 50% and restaurants will close at 11pm, shops at 10pm.

The city of Madrid accounts for 43.7% of new cases registered in Spain according to the Spanish Ministry of Health.

Frédéric Dubessy


Thursday, October 1st 2020



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