The entire city of Madrid and nine other municipalities in the region are now facing partial lockdown restrictions against the spread of Coronavirus (Covid-19), the Spanish Health Minister Salvador Illa announced on Wednesday, following an agreement that will apply to all regions in Spain regarding criteria for confinement.
Full details of the new measures have now been published in the Boletín Oficial del Estado (BOE) – although the Madrid authorities have already questioned their legal validity. The Madrid regional health chief, Enrique Ruiz Escudero, stated that the plan lacked any ‘legal status’ because not all of the regions had voted in favour of the measures. The order will still need to be published by the affected regions of Spain in their own respective gazettes.
It follows a meeting of the ‘Interterritorial Council of the National Health System’, in which a majority of Spain’s 17 autonomous regions approved restrictive measures on mobility in communities that exceed 500 cases of Coronavirus per 100,000 inhabitants, have a positivity rate in tests higher than 10% – and an occupation of Covid-19 patients in intensive care units (ICUs) of above 35%.
With these criteria, 10 municipalities in the region of Madrid, including the city itself, will have to establish perimeter confinements, among other limitations.
Madrid had already imposed partial lockdown measures on nearly one million citizens living in 37 areas since Monday 21 September for 14 days – which was later extended to include eight other neighbourhoods. Residents of these 45 areas, mainly densely populated, low-income neighbourhoods in the south of Madrid, have only been allowed to leave their ‘healthcare zone’ to go to work, seek medical care or take their children to school. But the measures have not been enough, according to Spain’s central Health Ministry.
‘This agreement has been approved by a broad majority,’ said Illa after the meeting on Wednesday with the healthcare authorities of all Spain’s 17 autonomous regions.