ALSO READ – fully updated report (19/9/20): Madrid in partial lockdown, with regional government under spotlight
The president of the Madrid regional government, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, has announced new restrictions for the Madrid region, to further combat the spread of Coronavirus (Covid-19).
There will be restrictions on movement in 37 ‘healthcare zones’ of the region – 26 areas in 6 districts of the city itself, and 11 areas in 8 municipalities. Up to 6 people will be allowed at private gatherings instead of 10. The affected areas are home to around 850,000 people.
In the city of Madrid itself, affected areas are in the following 6 districts of Carabanchel, Usera, Villaverde, Villa de Vallecas, Puente de Vallecas and Ciudad Lineal. Other affected municipalities are: Fuenlabrada, Parla, San Sebastian de los Reyes, Getafe, Leganes, Moraleja de Enmedio and Alcobendas.
People living in the areas will only be allowed to leave to go to work, school, visit the doctor, or to go to the bank. Shops, bars and restaurants must close at 10pm. Parks will also remain closed.
The new measures commence on Monday 21 September and will last for an initial 14 days.
— Comunidad de Madrid (@ComunidadMadrid) September 18, 2020
The Madrid regional government is a coalition between the right-wing People’s Party (PP) and the centre-right Ciudadanos (Cs) party, with the support from Spain’s far-right Vox party.
On Thursday, the socialist (PSOE) prime minister Pedro Sánchez wrote to Isabel Díaz Ayuso, seeking a meeting to discuss the situation of Coronavirus in the region. Ayuso agreed to the meeting and it is to take place on Monday at noon.
Figures released by the Health Ministry on Thursday showed that Madrid – the worst-hit region of Spain for Coronavirus – has now seen 43,939 new infections in the past 14 days – a total of 181,959 since the start of the pandemic. There have been a total of 8,970 Coronavirus-related deaths in the region – 138 in the past 7 days.
The letter from Sánchez seeking a meeting followed on from the vice-president of the regional government, Ignacio Aguado, from the Cs party, calling on the Spanish government to ‘actively get involved’ with helping to combat the spread of Coronavirus across the region.
In a press conference on Thursday, Aguado had said that ‘the situation of the epidemic in Madrid is not going well. It is getting worse. We are going to have to make greater efforts’.
Earlier this week, health authorities in Madrid had warned that new restrictions on movement to slow the spread of the virus, would come into effect either on Saturday or Monday.
Regional health chief Antonio Ruiz Escudero had said the Madrid government was working on a series of measures ‘to restrict mobility and reduce activity in certain areas .. where the virus is most-widely transmitted’.
Commenting on the recent Coronavirus figures released, the Spanish Health Minister Salvador Illa said, ‘We have to do whatever is necessary to control the situation in Madrid’ where we have ‘what is likely the biggest problem’.
ALSO READ (19/9/20): Madrid in partial lockdown, with regional government under spotlight
Click here for all previous reports on: Coronavirus in Spain