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New restrictions in Madrid New restrictions in Madrid  (ANSA)

Covid-19: Lockdown in Madrid due to rise in cases

A row erupts on Thursday over the Spanish government’s decision to lockdown the city of Madrid amid a surge in coronavirus cases.

By Vatican News

The Spanish city of Madrid is under a partial lockdown to halt the spread of Covid-19. Over 3 million people in this city now face new curbs in ten municipalities.

Those restrictions include borders being closed to outsiders for non-essential visits, with only those travelling for work, school, doctors' visits or shopping allowed to cross.

There will also be a curfew for bars and restaurants which will now have close at 11pm. Social gatherings will be also be limited to six people.

Spain’s Health Ministry said regional and local authorities would have 48 hours to comply with the ruling.

Lockdown opposition

However, these new measures have not gone down well with Madrid’s regional government, which opposes another lockdown.

Responding to the central government’s move, the Chief of the Madrid region, Isabel Diaz Ayuso said on Thursday, “You can’t lock everybody down.”

She also argued the committee that took the decision had no legal authority to do so without a consensus.

Diaz Ayuso said she was planning to challenge the health ministry order in courts, amid a widening rift between the Socialist-led central government and conservative-led regional administration on the response to the pandemic.

Madrid is not the only region to oppose new restrictions. Northeastern Catalonia, Andalusia and Galicia are also not in favour of the new curbs.

At present Madrid has 735 cases per 100,000 people. That is one of the highest of any region in Europe.

The country has recorded 769,188 cases of Covid-19 and 31,791 deaths.

Covid-19 in Europe

Elsewhere in Europe, Poland confirmed a record number of new daily coronavirus infections.

The Health Ministry announced 1,967 new cases on Thursday as it too battles a rise in cases with new curbs.

Russia confirmed its highest daily tally of new coronavirus cases since June 12 with authorities reporting 8,945 new infections.

In the UK, British health minister Matt Hancock extended tighter coronavirus restrictions on Thursday across more areas in England, including the northern city of Liverpool.

01 October 2020, 14:33