More than 850,000 people in Madrid will face at least two weeks of tighter restrictions on movement to combat a rise in coronavirus cases, the regional government announced Friday.
People living in 37 areas of the region will be asked to stay home as much as possible, but they will be allowed to go to work and school, and look after the elderly or vulnerable.
Social gatherings will be cut back in size from 10 to six people, and caps will be reimposed on the number of people allowed in shops, libraries, places of worship, cinemas, sporting facilities and theaters. Leisure facilities, hospitality businesses and shops will have to close by 10 p.m.
The restrictions, which will last for 14 days from Monday, have been imposed in areas where the coronavirus rate has been above 1,000 cases per 100,000 residents in the last two weeks. The 37 areas, many of them located in the south of the capital, account for 25 percent of COVID-19 cases in the region.
Speaking at a press conference Friday, Madrids regional president Isabel Díaz Ayuso, stressed Madrid must avoid another state of alarm and another strict lockdown, which would be “disastrous” for the economy.
“We dont think this is the moment to restrict the mobility of all citizens,” she said. “What we must do is to take measures in very specific areas where the virus has spread much more, and what we need to do now is to apply quarantines and make sure they are complied with, diagnose and follow infected cases.”
The tightening of the restrictions comes as Madrid has become Spains coronavirus epicenter. The region diagnosed